If you've ever heard someone call your beloved soda or candy bar "empty calories," here's why. Whenever you eat, your body produces insulin to signal that energy is ready to burn. Simple carbs, like those found in your sugary sodas, white bread, pasta or candy, provide plenty of quick energy, which leads to an insulin spike. Since your body knows it has easy energy available, it won't burn your stored fat. After these calories are used up, your blood sugar drops. Enter the mind-numbing fatigue and hunger you feel soon after eating sugary treats. Prevents these spikes and crashes by regulating blood sugar to burn stored fat.
Remove or minimize sources of simple carbs from your diet. Simple carbs are essentially sugars including sucrose, or table sugar; fructose, or high fructose corn syrup, the first ingredient in most sodas; and lactose, which is sugar found in dairy products.
Read the labels on fat-free foods, especially sweets. When food companies remove fat, they often add more sugar to improve the flavor. Even if the treat is technically fat-free, the insulin spike from the extra sugar will cause you to store fat.
Eat at least a serving of fiber in your small meals. Fiber digests much slower than simple sugar. It also lets you feel full much longer by creating a slow release of insulin rather than a spike. High fiber foods include raw fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
Reach for whole fruits rather than fruit juice. Fruits contain fiber in the form of pulp, which has been removed from the juice. Fruit juice is high in fructose, a simple sugar.
Munch on raw, unsalted nuts and seeds for snacks. Seeds and nuts have a low glycemic index, provide lean protein and keep you full between meals.
Eat small meals incorporating high fiber and low-fat, lean protein throughout the day. If you eat small meals, your insulin never gets too high. When you eat often, your blood sugar never has an opportunity to drop. Be sure not to munch on simple carbs for your small meals.
Lift weights and perform cardio exercise, in that order. A study by the University of Calgary showed that otherwise healthy men and women with diabetes had a more stable blood sugar when they performed weight lifting followed by cardio exercise, than when they performed cardio first. MayoClinic.com suggests 150 minutes of moderate cardio, such as jogging or swimming, every week.
Items you will need
- Raw fruits and vegetables
- Whole grains
- Raw nuts and seeds
- Cinnamon or cinnamon capsules
- Free weights or weight machines
- It isn't necessary to buy and use a blood sugar meter, unless you suspect you may have a medical problem regulating your blood sugar.
- Diabetes is a serious disease in which the pancreas can't regulate insulin production or the body can't recognize insulin production, which can lead to severely unregulated blood sugar. Contact your doctor immediately if you suspect you might have symptoms of diabetes: frequent urination; extreme thirst and hunger; unexplained weight loss and fatigue.
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