Whether you are at risk for Diabetes or trying to master your body for peak physical and mental performance, stabilizing your blood sugar is essential. Meal timing is one of the most important factors that can determine whether or not your blood sugar is proper. From staying up late and snacking until the early hours of the morning to eating most of your daily calories at once, the food timing choices we make have a serious impact.
How can you stabilize your blood sugar with strategic meal timing?
Eat Something for Breakfast, Even If It’s Small
Many people skip eating breakfast because they feel like they don’t have enough time or they want to “save” their calories for later. In reality, this can be very hard on the body. When we sleep, our body is fasting.
The reason why breakfast is called breakfast is because you are breaking the fast.
Eat within a few hours of waking, even if it’s a small meal. Many people who skip breakfast end up overeating during their first meal of the day or being more drawn to sugary and starchy foods. If blood glucose levels drop too low, your body will send signals to release stored up glucose into the blood to raise it again.
If you are in a rush in the morning or just don’t like eating first thing, grab something that has protein and a high-fiber carbohydrate, like a hard-boiled egg and a piece of fruit or whole-wheat toast and natural peanut butter.
Don’t Eat Right Before Bed
One of the biggest obstacles to stabilizing your blood sugar is eating right before bed. Eating too close to when you hit the hay can raise your blood sugars, and eating fatty or heavy food right before bed can even cause trouble sleeping. If you have to eat before bed due to medications you need to take with food, choose something small and light like Greek yogurt or some vegetables.
Eat Most of Your Calories When They Will Be Used
Another one of the best ways to stabilize your blood sugar is eating most of your calories before you are going to use them.
It might sound counterintuitive, but many people with the most stable blood sugar are able to do so because they eat a big breakfast, a medium-sized lunch and a light dinner. This ensures that you are burning the calories you eat during the day and that you feel full so that you don’t tend to overeat. If you are more active later in the day, then it might be wisest to have a big lunch, mid-sized dinner and light breakfast. Don’t be afraid to adapt what you’re doing and try new things to find which is the best fit.
Have Something Pre- and Post-Exercise
If you engage in intense exercise, you should be eating something before and after to avoid your blood glucose level getting too low. You might need to eat to stabilize your blood sugar if you are working out over an hour at a moderate-vigorous level of intensity. If you are not sure whether or not you should have an extra snack, test your blood sugars before, during and after your workout to track any highs or lows that might be concerning.
Set Strict Meal Times
Numerous recent studies of mice have found that strict meal timing is one effective way to stabilize your blood sugar.
Some of the they tested include only eating within a set window every day, like from 9:00 AM-6:00 PM or 8:00 AM-5:00 PM. While time-restricted eating can make it more difficult to engage in certain lifestyle activities, like getting brunch with friends in the early morning or getting dinner late at night, it has a powerful impact on your body’s ability to regulate hormones, hunger and more.
The time of day that eating takes place is less important than merely restricting all food intake to a specific window on a daily basis.
Interestingly, research has found that even if you are not necessarily changing the contents of your meals or the amounts that you are eating intentionally, eating within that window can lead to weight loss.
Men who were at a high risk of developing type 2 diabetes in one study only made one change, limiting their eating to a 9-hour window. They ate their completely normal diet without changes other than sticking to that time period. Over the course of one week, the participants were able to stabilize their blood sugar with visible improvement, and even lose a small amount of weight!
If they made these changes simply by altering the window of time that they were eating during, imagine the changes that you could get through a lifestyle change eating healthier, incorporating positive exercise into your lifestyle and eating in a shorter window of time.
Body Refined is here to help you find the right methods to stabilize your blood sugar and experience greater well-being and health than ever before. We use science-backed methods to help you improve your life and discover what you are capable of.
Stabilize Your Blood Sugar and Get Fit with Help from Brooktree Consulting
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