Adopting healthy habits is the backbone of changing your lifestyle and managing your blood sugar. Often we already know What do for our health. The “How? ‘Or’ What” involves learning to implement what we already know.
For example, we often recognize that eating more vegetables and lean protein is healthy for us. Yet how do we learn to incorporate these foods into our lifestyle?
Habit change is a complex science that needs to be individualized based on your lifestyle, but there are a few small ways to learn how to build healthy habits.
To start, you can pick one small, manageable new habit at a time. Don’t overwhelm yourself trying to change everything all at once. You can also learn to keep going when things aren’t perfect. Many of us suffer from all-or-nothing thinking. This black and white thinking can derail our efforts over time. And finally, you can incorporate foods and activities that you enjoy. If you don’t enjoy it, you probably won’t for long.
What habits are known to help improve blood sugar? Let’s dive! Then check out 5 worst breads to eat for blood sugar, says the dietitian.
Spending a little extra time focusing on balance in the morning can go a long way. Starting your day with a protein-rich meal has been shown to balance blood sugar for the rest of the day!
Sarah GlinskyDRtells us to “pair carbs with a source of protein. This will slow the rate at which glucose enters your bloodstream, which can help keep your blood sugar in the target range.”
Justine ChanMHSc, RD, CDEstates that “eating at regular intervals every 4 hours will help manage blood sugar. Waiting until you are tired and hungry can lead to impulsive choices with your food.”
Chan suggests, “Get into the habit of eating before you get too hungry to help manage portions and ultimately your blood sugar.”
One plate method approach to meals includes protein, carbohydrate, and non-starchy vegetables.
To implement the plate method, focus on keeping half your plate of non-starchy vegetables. Use the palm of your hand to estimate your protein serving and the size of your fist to estimate your carb serving.
catherine piperRDN LD NBC-HWCexplains how the plate method can improve blood sugar if you choose to eat your carbs last after balancing them with protein and vegetables.
She recommends “start with eating protein first. Follow your protein with non-starchy vegetables. Save your carbs for last. The protein and fiber in vegetables can slow the rate at which carbs raise your blood sugar.”
It is not necessary to cut out all carbs to have better blood sugar. Basherah EnahoraPhD, MBA, RDN, LDNexplains that a moderate approach to nutrition can improve blood sugar levels without resorting to extremes.
Enahora suggests that “choosing fiber-rich unrefined carbs, such as beans, lentils, oats, or berries in moderate amounts per meal, will slow digestion and minimize blood sugar spikes.”
Along with movement after meals, a little goes a long way in lowering blood sugar. Our muscles use glucose to move around, so walking right after a carb-heavy meal can immediately improve blood sugar responses.
Lisa AndrewsMEd, RD, LDexplains, “Taking a 10-15 minute walk after meals helps lower post-meal blood sugar and may aid in weight management.”
Caroline Thomason, RDN
Caroline is a Women’s Health Registered Dietitian and Diabetes Educator based in Northern Virginia. Read more