The Ups & Downs of Dieting

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Update: Down 2.5 lbs!

I have been doing the pre-portioned meals and trying to work out 2-3 times a week and so far I think it’s working! I have also been tracking my meals and calories with the MyFitnessPal app. I have my calories set to lose 1 lb. a week so that I’m not feeling super deprived. I do feel a major difference (am hungry quite a bit throughout the day) but I am adjusting.

I think the hardest part about dieting for me is the blood sugar piece. I will put off eating because I don’t want to eat junk so I’ll try to wait until I can have a good, high-protein, low-sugar snack, and then suddenly, I go past the invisible blood sugar line and plunge into a sugar crash. I get shaky and sweaty and feel like I might pass out. And it all happens very quickly. It can be pretty scary- the symptoms feel very similar to an anxiety attack. It’s also scary that, even after eating something to bring the sugar levels back up, it takes a few minutes for my body to recover. So I will have eaten some fruit and protein to help levels rise again and it seems like nothing is happening. But I do recover usually within about 20-30 mins.

Every time I go too long and have a blood sugar crash, I always promise, “never again!” And then life happens and I get busy and I go too long after breakfast without eating and then I feel that shaky feeling start again and I think “Oh crap! Protein, now!!” I sometimes wish I was attached to a little glucose monitor that would beep every time my levels started to drop and it would remind me to refill my stores. But since I don’t have that I have to use other tools to keep my blood sugar balanced. It is something I am constantly working on and have to pay special attention to when I am changing my diet.

Here are some great tips from my naturopath about how to balance blood sugar:

Eat Breakfast:

  • It is important to not skip breakfast to prevent the adrenal glands from over-working.
  • Eat high quality protein and fat
  • Nausea and lack of appetite are side effects of low blood sugar. Eating protein will relieve nausea and will stabilize blood sugars in a few days.

Avoid or Limit Caffeine:

  • Caffeine overworks the adrenal glands, therefore causing nausea and exhaustion
  • Eat breakfast before you drink that cup of coffee! You may not need it!

 Eat protein every 2-3 hours: (just a snack)

  • Protein keeps blood sugar balanced for longer periods of times
  • Eating consistently allows the adrenal glands to rest
  • Eat often allows for normal brain chemistry balance

 Limit Carbohydrates:

  • High carb diets spike blood sugars
  • If you feel sleepy or crave sugar after meals– you have overloaded carbs
  • Look for food intolerances or sensitivities
  • Eat high carb foods with fiber, fat or protein to aid in glucose absorption
  • High Carbs: grains (gluten, rice, corn), legumes, starchy vegetables (potatoes), and sugar

 Avoid Sweets/Carbs Before Bed:

  • Sweets before bed will spike blood sugar making it hard to fall asleep
  • Blood sugars will crash in the middle of the night calling on the adrenal glands for help and cause you to wake up restless or anxious
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