Increasing your time in range can be quite a challenge for some people, but there are certainly some tools and tips that can help you in your endeavours.
Getting enough restorative sleep is essential if you want to control your glucose.
Sleep deprivation is a key driver of insulin resistance, and this can make glucose management more difficultEven partial sleep deprivation over one night increases insulin resistance, which can in turn increase blood sugar levels.
Glucose homeostasis (the process of keeping glucose in a defined range) is controlled by the endocrine (also known as the hormonal) system. This system is one that generally acts on a longer time frame (though glucose may be an exception to a degree here) and thus does well with routine. Things will generally be easier to control if you maintain a routine around meals, exercise and bed times.
Exercise is an absolutely crucial part of improving glucose control and time in range. Exercise has the ability to lower glucose by making your body more sensitive to insulin (pro tip - try a post meal walk) acutely and improve glucose control through improved insulin sensitivity on a longer time scale. The effect physical activity has on your glucose will vary depending on how long you are active and many other factors.
4. Eat more Fiber
Fiber plays a key role in glucose metabolism by reducing the glycemic index of foods, meaning that the glucose in the food is released into the bloodstream slower. The fiber content and physical form of the food can influence the accessibility of nutrients by digestive enzymes, thus delaying digestion and absorption. A slower, more sustained release of carbohydrates is much easier to manage and will help improve time in range by not pushing you out of range or not doing so at the same rate.
5. Dose your Carbohydrates Appropriately
Eating the right amount of carbohydrates, at the right times is crucial for everyone - from elite athletes to people living with diabetes. Whilst some may struggle to get enough carbohydrates, particularly if you are very physically active, some people may see some value in reducing carbohydrate load by increased protein, fiber and fat intake. The concept of fueling for the work required, speaks specifically to athletes, but we believe anyone with a goal is an athlete and this principle could apply to anyone; different goals require different amounts of carbohydrates at different times.
6. Context is Key
Much like heart rate, glucose data without context is meaningless. A heart rate of 120 could be alarming if you are asleep but impressive if you are running and glucose is no different. WIthout understanding the context for your glucose, management can be difficult at best and unbelievably frustrating at worst. Using tools like Supersapiens and the integrations it brings means that you can understand the context for glucose when reviewing the data. This may not immediately seem as helpful as it ultimately is though. Many people look to understand their glucose data in the moment without understanding that there can be a significant impact of the previous hours and even days on your glucose behavior. Understanding the impact of exercise on glucose for the rest of the day or the following day is something that requires the context that Supersapiens
provides with its integrations.
It should also go without saying that many of these behaviors have great health benefits that aren’t related specifically to glucose too. In fact, this article could be re-titled to top tips to improve your health quite easily… You’re welcome.
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