Unlocking the Secret: Maintaining Stable Blood Sugar Levels While Indulging in Your Favorite Foods

October 9, 2023

On episode 82 of the Reclaim Your Rise podcast, Coach Brooke and Lauren sat down to answer 5 listener questions.

Question: I want to continue to have foods I like, but when I do, my numbers go up. What's the secret?

Hmm, what is the secret?

Rather than thinking of it as “a secret,” Coach Brooke and Lauren suggest thinking of it as a multi pronged process. Because most times with diabetes, the advice that's given is just one thing, either: It's “just don't eat the food” or it's “just give insulin.” And when we try those things and it doesn't work, we get frustrated.

But when you realize that your body actually is this incredible system, and you learn how hormones, macronutrients (not just carbs), exercise, sleep, and stress, impact you, then you can start to pull certain levers in different situations.

Take a Curious Approach

Start by selecting one food that you love and want to incorporate into your life. Instead of labeling it as "good" or "bad," approach it with curiosity and a desire to understand how your body responds. Begin by considering the following factors:

  1. Pre-bolus time: Timing your insulin dose before your meal can help match the rise in blood sugar from the food you consume.
  2. Bolus amount and strategy: Determine the appropriate insulin dose to cover the carbohydrates in your meal. Consider whether additional insulin is needed to account for fats or other factors that may impact blood sugar.
  3. Additional tools: Explore other resources at your disposal, such as hydration, movement, and incorporating fiber or extra protein through vegetables, meats, or plant-based options.

Understand Your Body's Individual Needs

Recognize that everyone's body is unique, and what works for one person may not work for another. Factors such as insulin sensitivity, insulin resistance, stress levels, and hormonal fluctuations can influence blood sugar responses to food. Experimentation and self-awareness are key to discovering the most effective strategies for your individual needs.

Embrace the Trade-Offs

Accept that managing diabetes requires trade-offs. If you prioritize overall health by focusing on nutrition, exercise, sleep, and stress management, it may become easier to enjoy your favorite foods while maintaining stable blood sugar levels. However, during certain circumstances or life stages, it may be more challenging to achieve optimal control. Be kind to yourself and recognize that finding the right balance is an ongoing process.

Seek Support and Guidance

If you are struggling with disordered eating or recovering from an eating disorder, managing diabetes can add another layer of complexity. Consider working with a healthcare professional or diabetes coach who has experience in this area. They can provide valuable guidance and support as you navigate the challenges of intuitive eating while managing blood sugar levels.

Remember, achieving a balance between enjoying the foods you love and maintaining stable blood sugar levels is possible. By approaching the challenge with curiosity, self-compassion, and a willingness to adapt, you can develop a specific approach that works best for you and your diabetes management journey.