Everyday I work with people with diabetes who struggle to lower their A1C on their own, with losing weight, with insulin resistance, with achieving stable and predictable blood sugar levels, with getting into an exercise/nutrition routine, and with controlling food cravings.
As a Diabetes Health Coach, I use a “Mind-Body” approach with my clients. This means, looking at exercise, nutrition, sleep, stress, career, joy, relationships, and self-growth not independent of one another, but rather interconnected. I believe the key to reaching your goals is looking at all areas of your life and seeing where you can spend more energy to be more fulfilled, healthy, and happy.
I’ve found this approach to health and happiness helps my clients not only reach their goals, but make long lasting changes which is different from just another restrict-binge diet that leads us to the inevitable failure and line of, I’ll start over on Monday.
It’s amazing to see the progress my clients make in bridging the gap between where they are and where they want to be. No matter who I’m working with, the question of what should I be eating always comes up right away.
Here is what I teach my clients to help them form a healthy relationship with food and allow their bodies to thrive:
1. Don’t Fear The Carbs
There used to be a time where I was petrified of carbs. After 2 years of eating low carb and having the energy levels of a sloth, I started experimenting with adding them back in. I now eat around 250 carbs a day and my body feels amazing. Here are some tips to incorporating more carbs into your diet:
- If you stay away from carbs because of blood sugar spikes, try choosing low glycemic ones when you can.
- Eat more carbs around the time of your workout because you may be able to get away with using less insulin because of increased insulin sensitivity.
- For simple carbs like fruit or smoothies, it’s always best to pre bolus 20 minutes before eating because of the time it takes for the insulin to become active.
- Limit processed carbs/ artificial sugars and choose to fill your plate with beans, sprouted grain breads, fruit, vegetables, oats, whole grain wraps, quinoa, brown rice, and sweet potatoes.
2. Become the Student and the Teacher Of Your Own Body
We often look to other people for answers when the truth is that we are our own best teacher. Take the time to learn how your blood sugars react to certain foods and you’ll start to see patterns that can help you create more predictable and stable blood sugar numbers.
3. Don’t Use Food As A Band-Aid
So many of us go to food to feed not only our hunger, but our boredom, stress, anger, sadness, etc. Next time you go to grab food, take a deep breath first and ask yourself WHY you are eating. If it’s anything other than being hungry, see if you can first address the underlying problem or your food cravings/binges might keep coming back.
4. When In Doubt, Eat Food From The Earth
While there are 100 different dietary theories out there, one thing they all agree on is the importance of eating whole, plant based foods from the earth. Instead of chicken, beef, cheese, yogurt, milk, or eggs being the base of the meal, try making whole foods the base instead. You’ll have less inflammation in your body, weight loss, and less chance of cancer, heart disease, high blood pressure or high cholesterol.
5. Fail To Plan, Plan To Fail
If you want a sure way to keep yourself on track when life gets bus, become a master of the food prep! Taking 10 extra minutes the night before or the morning of to pack your meals/ snacks for the day means you’re more inclined to make healthier choices and can prevent any low blood sugars that sometimes can lead us to eating all the food we can get out hands on!
If you take one thing away from this post, let it be that your relationship with your body and the food you put in it is the most precious one you will ever be in. When we treat our body like we would a loved one, we move from a place of compassion and willingness to give it all the right tools it needs to feel it’s best every single day.