Free Meter for Weight Loss
Blood glucose monitors are devices that we tend to associate with diabetics. According to the CDC, in 1958, about 1% of the US population were diagnosed with what was then called Adult Onset Diabetes. Nowadays, the number is approaching 10% & it’s no longer just adults being diagnosed. This is along with the many more of us that are undiagnosed, or pre-diabetic. With the growing number of Type 2 diabetics, the shelves of our pharmacies display a huge range of these things, like they are the latest best-selling tech gadget for health. Even if we are fortunate enough to have avoided a diagnosis of diabetes, these monitors can be a useful tool to help us keep it that way. Along with being a useful tool to gain some insight on the impact of the foods we eat.
Many of us have impaired our natural feedback loops when it comes to eating. A diet overloaded with sugar and refined starch puts us on the path to obesity. Staying on that path can lead to metabolic syndrome and Type 2 diabetes. Checking our blood sugar levels periodically can help us identify how far down the road we are. And the results can provide some added motivation to change things. If you haven’t used a glucose monitor before, you’ll be fascinated to see what different foods do to your blood glucose levels. That big rib steak wasn’t so bad, was it? But, man, you should have seen my numbers after that pizza! And those cookies were off the chart!
While the correlation isn’t perfect, there is generally some decent relationship between blood glucose levels and insulin when it comes to carbohydrates. Among other things, insulin is released to prevent our blood sugar getting too high. While insulin first stores this energy into our muscles and liver, for more immediate use, it then stores the excess in the long term storage areas … our bellies and our bums! In other words, along with all the wonderful things it does, insulin is the fat storage hormone. This too is wonderful. But if we’re already obese, this probably isn’t what we’re looking for.
A meter won’t cure our obesity. But if you knew that a bagel or a muffin sent your blood sugar soaring, while a bacon and egg breakfast didn’t, how might you consider ordering your next morning meal? And how about that mid-morning snack of healthy yogurt that has 15g of sugar? Did you ever wonder what that might do to your blood sugar level? Keeping our blood sugar levels in the normal range is a good thing. The longer these levels are normalized, the less opportunity there is for storing more fat. A meter can help identify what foods increase our blood sugar so that we can think more carefully when choosing our next snack. An ongoing barrage of sweet treats throughout the day tends to maintain elevated insulin levels. And that may keep us in fat storage mode for the duration. That’s probably not where we want to be if we are hoping to lose weight.
In Canada, the manufacturers offer a “free” monitor with the purchase of a large box of 100 strips. Insurers may also cover the costs of meters and strips if you have a prescription. Most manufacturers have apps that link to their monitors now too. That can be good information to take along to your next doctor’s appointment.
A glucose monitor can be a relatively inexpensive tool to help us understand how our bodies interact with different foods. And it can help us reconstruct our diet to better achieve our goals.
I’d like to think that, one day, I will have repaired my natural feedback loops to the point where I no longer need an external device to tell me what my body is doing.