Last Updated on November 10, 2022 by Kayla
One of the most effective ways to lose weight without white-knuckling through the day is to consider how food impacts your blood sugar levels.
Steady blood sugar means you’ll have fewer cravings, better mental & physical energy, and reduced inflammation. Not to mention, you’ll lose weight faster and with less effort!
Not all foods – or calories, for that matter – are created equal.
Three macronutrients, or “big” nutrients, make up the food we eat – Protein, Fat, and Carbohydrates. Each of these affects your blood sugar differently (see graph below).
As you can see, carbohydrates cause the most significant rise in blood sugar, and thus insulin – your “storage” hormone.
After a meal, your blood sugar will always rise. The goal isn’t to “flat line” your blood sugar; that’s not realistic. Instead, the aim is to prevent drastic spikes, like the illustration of carbohydrates above.
Opt for “rolling hills” versus “mountain peaks” on your imaginary blood sugar graph. So how do you do that? Let’s explore this further.
Blood sugar blunders
One of the biggest blood sugar tragedies I witness as a Registered Dietitian is snacking on carbohydrates between meals.
When you eat a carb on its own (think fruit, crackers, sweet treats, etc.), you create a steep, drastic mountain peak. Soon after, your blood sugar crashes, and you’re hungry again. What da heck, right?! 😯
One way to prevent this is to PAIR carbohydrates with another macronutrient* – protein and/or fat.
Pairing carbs with other macronutrients helps blunt the blood sugar (and insulin) response which will leave you feeling fuller, longer!
*For a breakdown of macros plus a mini e-mail series on macros for weight loss, download my free dietitian-approved grocery list!
Not only does meal composition matter, but the order in which you eat makes a difference too!
Starting your meal with vegetables or protein and saving carbs for last is another way to dampen drastic spikes and optimize blood sugar.
So rather than having that Reese’s cup or piece of fruit solo, treat it like a dessert. With less glucose variability, you’ll be able to enjoy your sweet treat(s) without feeling like you’ve lost the reins on your goals!
Words from the Wise
“The only secret to food combination is a balance of protein, carbs, and fat – they all play a key role in our health.” -Jorge Cruise
I couldn’t agree more that each macronutrient serves a unique and vital purpose for your health. Unfortunately, though, we gravitate toward strict low-fat or low-carb diets to lose weight when in reality, balance is the key.Stay tuned next week for part two of this series where I’ll break down why carbs aren’t the bad guys and offer up more tips for enjoying them guilt-free!For more guidance on WHAT and HOW to eat for success after bariatric surgery, check out my services HERE