It’s hard to resist the temptation of finishing that last slice of cake or grabbing that extra piece of chocolate. Losing yourself in the sugary goodness of desserts can feel pleasant, especially when you are treating yourself to them as a reward after work. After all, you do deserve a little relaxing after all the hard work you do, whether it is through practical efforts or somedays, by just existing. But it is very important to control blood sugar.
There is no doubt that everyone deserves to indulge in these ways every once in a while. However, overdoing it can lead to high blood sugar levels, which increase your risk of getting type 2 diabetes. Hence, for the sake of your overall wellbeing, it is important to exercise some control over your sugar intake.
Today, we are going to tell you about 7 ways to control blood sugar, so that you can lead a healthier lifestyle overall.
Dangers of high blood sugar
Our body needs glucose within sugar so that it can generate energy from it. This glucose is transported to our cells through our bloodstream, with the help of a hormone called insulin. High blood sugar happens when our body either loses its ability to respond to insulin (type 2 diabetes) or produce insulin (type 1 diabetes).
While type 1 diabetes cannot be prevented because it comes through genes, type 2 diabetes can be caused by high sugar intake habits. Hence, for preventing the latter, one needs to learn how to control blood sugar.
The normal blood sugar levels for those without diabetes are usually around less than 100 mg/dL before meals and less than 140 mg/dL for 2 hours after meals. Any blood sugar spikes after meals that extend this amount could indicate pre-diabetes or diabetes.
In addition to this, the inability to control blood sugar levels can lead to skin infections, nerve damage, eye complications, and many other bodily troubles. Thus, we must learn to balance sugar in our meals so that we can decrease our risk of such conditions.
How to control blood sugar?
There is no instant remedy in finding out how to control blood sugar. This is because high blood sugar is usually a result of an unhealthy lifestyle, which many damaging habits and coping mechanisms. So, to take the healthier route, we must proceed step-by-step and bring about a gradual change that will last in the long run and ensure that our body sees better, happier days in the future.
Always remember to first consider your healthcare provider before making any changes to your eating and general health habits. This is especially important if you have diabetes and are already on medication for blood sugar control. Never make such decisions on your own and always seek professional advice beforehand.
That being said, here is a list of 7 ways to control blood sugar:
1. Make proper meal plans
The first step to maintaining healthy food habits is to organize a proper meal plan. A lot of factors contribute to blood sugar spikes after meals, such as what time you eat, the amount of food that you eat, and what type of food it is.
For example, if you eat too much in one sitting, it will likely lead to more increases in blood sugar. On the other hand, not eating enough can make blood sugar too low. Hence, there needs to be some uniformity in your eating habits, so that your body can get used to processing the sugar accordingly.
Make a meal plan with the help of your health practitioner and try to stick to it as much as you can. Of course, it isn’t possible to always be punctual, but having some discipline will surely result in improvement.
The practice of meal timing is usually recommended for those with diabetes, but even those who simply want to control blood sugar can try to stick to certain timings for meals.
2. Switch to healthier foods
Just having a proper meal schedule isn’t enough if you are not eating healthy food. For example, consuming foods with a high glycemic index can lead to more blood sugar spikes after meals.
In another case, eating the wrong kind of snack at night could lead to high blood sugar in the morning, especially for those who have diabetes. So, there needs to be a change in your food decisions, as well.
Try to be healthier about your daily carb intake, while also increasing your fiber intake with foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, etc. Try choosing foods that have a low glycemic index such as oats, beans, barley, yam, etc. You can also switch to healthier sugar alternatives which are natural and more nutritional.
There are also certain foods such as apple cider vinegar (ACV) and fenugreek seeds which are said to help with reducing blood sugar levels and control blood sugar. However, if you are already on medication for diabetes, consult your doctor before making any changes to your meal plans.
3. Make sure to stay hydrated
All of us know that drinking a healthy amount of water daily has many positive effects. One of them is its ability to flush out excess sugar through the urine, helping you to control blood sugar levels.
Try to occasionally witch sodas or sugary drinks with water. It may not seem as delicious, but it will definitely have more benefits in the long run.
4. Learn to manage daily stress
Stress can have many negative effects on our bodies, such as increased blood sugar levels by promoting the release of hormones such as cortisol and glucagon. Try to engage in relaxing activities such as meditation, yoga, or getting massages with calming oils to control blood sugar. Set sometime aside every day to enjoy certain hobbies such as listening to music, reading, writing, painting, etc.
5. Maintain a healthy sleeping schedule
Getting sufficient sleep can have a positive effect on your insulin sensitivity and blood sugar levels. When you rest, your body gets time to recuperate and regain the energy it has expended throughout the day. This also helps in reducing the stress and strain, and control blood sugar, so that you can wake up feeling fresh and happy.
To avoid high blood sugar in the morning, make sure to have a gap between the time you eat dinner and the time you sleep.
6. Make exercise a part of your routine
Exercising regularly makes your body use sugar for gaining energy as well as muscle contraction. Try out different exercise methods till you find the one which best suits you. You can monitor your sugar level as you do try different things so that you know which one helps you the most.
Also, to control blood sugar in the morning, you can try going for a walk after dinner. Make sure to know your limits and not over-exhaust yourself in the process.
7. Monitor your blood sugar levels regularly
If you are concerned about your blood sugar levels, you can try monitoring them daily to find out how your body responds to your lifestyle changes. Always make sure to consult a medical professional before making any of these changes.
You can note the numbers down in a book to keep track of them, so you get an idea to what extent all these methods are working.
Leading a healthy lifestyle
Ultimately, the road towards health is long and full of stumbles. There will be days when making better decisions comes easier to you. Other days, you will give in to the urge to indulge. Either way, it’s important to remember that you are trying and that is what matters the most.
Your 100% is different from day-to-day, so do not bring yourself down during the times when even the smallest step feels so large. Just starting on this journey makes so much difference and you deserve to feel proud of yourself about it. We at The Voice Of Woman want to remind you that you are doing so, so, so well. We wish you the best of luck in your journey towards a healthier lifestyle!