Changing your diet to lower your blood sugar naturally doesn’t have to mean depriving yourself of your favorite foods or cutting out all of your carbs. We asked SteadyMD Dr. Spencer Nadolsky for 5 simple ways to lower or control your blood sugar naturally. Here’s what he said:
- Replace half of your starch with non-starchy vegetables.
For most patients with blood sugar issues, there is no need to completely cut out starch. Sure, you COULD cut it all out, but you don’t have to. An easy way to still enjoy it in your diet is taking the current portions you have and cutting them in half—replacing the other half with non-starchy vegetables. This way you still enjoy your favorite starch, while staying fuller longer, and getting more nutrients.
- Replace a meal with a protein shake. One of the most powerful strategies for blood sugar control and losing weight is replacing a full meal with a protein shake. This works because you are automatically lowering calories and carbohydrates, without even thinking about it. The guesswork is gone and your hunger is still under control.Shoot for about 30-50 grams of protein in a shake, which is about 1-2 scoops depending on the brand. I use whey protein, but you can use most any type of protein shake, if it doesn’t include extra sugar.
- Work in intentional fasting days. Instead of trying to lower your calories and carbohydrates every single day, you can have days where you are intentionally more aggressive than others. The idea is similar to the concept of “Alternate Day Fasting.” But instead of having to fast every other day, you pick one or two days a week (or even three if needed) where you know you will be fine with lowering your calories.
- Replace a snack with a walk.
I have found most patients snack because they were told eating more often leads to better fat loss and blood sugar control. This is not true at all. All it does it increases your energy intake, slows down your fat burning, and worsens your blood sugar control. Instead of reaching for those peanut butter crackers or granola bars, go for a walk. It will lower your blood sugar naturally, boost up your fat burning, and help with stress.The only exception to this is if someone is truly hungry at that moment and needs a bridge to their next meal. In these cases, a strategic apple or 1/4 cup of raw almonds will do the trick.
- Try a meal template, not a meal plan.
Many of my patients who are trying to lower blood sugar naturally, struggle with portion control and knowing what to eat in each meal. Replacing meals with a protein shake is great, but most people like to still eat whole food meals. You can follow a strict meal plan, but that doesn’t work in the long run because people like variety and having options. This is where meal templates come in.
The basic idea is having a similar portion of each type of foods at each meal. Don’t worry, this doesn’t involve tediously weighing your food. For protein, you want to eat a portion that’s about the size of your palm—including lean protein like fish, lean beef, poultry, etc. Once you have your protein, add two fist-sized portions of non-starchy vegetables. Then, add an optional thumb-sized portion of a healthy fat like olive oil and if need be, and an optional fist-sized portion of your go-to cooked starch (sweet potatoes, brown rice, quinoa, etc.).
If you’re able to put these five tips together, your ability to lower your blood sugar naturally while burning maximum fat will happen. Many of my patients get off their blood sugar medicines using the hacks above.
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