Free Meter for Weight Loss

Free Meter for Weight Loss

Blood Glucose Monitor

It doesn’t hurt. Really!

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.

 

 

Crazy Keto Contrarian Day

Crazy Keto Contrarian DaySourdough Bread

You’re going to love this one. Wait ’til you hear what I did yesterday!

In my typical hardly-scientific way, I thought I’d try something way off the charts.

Despite eating a good low-carb regimen for the past three or four days, my mood wasn’t great when I woke up yesterday. However, it picked up as the morning progressed. A lot. And I decided to do something a little crazy!

Lunch: Two sandwiches that included 4 slices of heavily buttered sourdough bread, 4 slices of Jarlsberg cheese, topped with real sauerkraut and a squirt of Dijon mustard. Oh, I had the heel with a big splodge of butter too!

Dinner: A curried fried rice with red kidney beans. Lots of oil in the pan to brown the garlic and onion, before adding the rice and beans. Added a cup of cream at the end for a little more lubrication. I ate ‘til I was stuffed and even had leftovers that I had to stick in the fridge.

Dessert: Totally shameless cherry ice cream with 5 squares of Caramel Sea-Salt dark chocolate.

I know, know! What on earth was I thinking? I was thinking to challenge how much my body had changed over the course of the past two & a half months. Was my blood sugar control any better? Despite my reservations about the impact the bread might have on my mood, would it be okay to do the bread thing every now & again?

Today … I only went up 0.4 lbs!

That’s great on a number of counts, and here’s why …

  • It is a pre-bowel movement (sorry!) weight.
  • I woke up really early this morning, so I weighed in two hours sooner than is usual.
  • And I pigged out on tons of pretty bad carbs (from a low-carb or keto viewpoint) yesterday.

What can I say, bread isn’t depressing me today!

I was monitoring my blood sugar throughout the exercise too. From morning to lunch time yesterday, I was low-normal (fours & low fives) courtesy of the lower carb days leading into this. My peak after lunch hit 6.9 mmol/L (124 mg/dL). My post dinner and dessert peak was 7.8 mmol/L (140 mg/dL). My overnight (I woke up at 3:00am) and very early morning readings were 6.9 mmol/L (124 mg/dL) or lower. The overnight & early morning numbers were still green on the app log but they are higher than I prefer. And they are not numbers that I would want to see on a regular basis. But since this is only likely to happen very rarely, it’s a great result.

I’ve seen weight loss on potato days before. Now, I think I could achieve weight loss on rice, or even bread, days too. Might have to skip that 1600 calorie dessert though! I know day by day measurements are pretty meaningless in the great scheme of things. But it is nice to know that I can go a little wild every now & again. Without paying the psychological price that a big jump on the glucose meter, or on the bathroom scale, brings.

The bottom line is that my diet seems to have improved my ability to handle sugar & starch. I’m not “cured” in the sense that I can go back to eating the way I used to. Not without consequence. And certainly not every day. But it looks like I may have brought still more flexibility back into my diet & my life. And that’s a good thing.

Now what crazy things can I do today!?!

Potatoes & Blood Glucose

Potatoes & Blood Glucose

Potatoes

Earth’s Other Gold!

I just knew I shouldn’t have written about potatoes yesterday! Maybe it was in my head to do this already, but writing about it made it a certainty. I had spuds for dinner yesterday. Lots of them!

When trying to lose weight, one of the first categories of foods that fat people tend to drop is all the white stuff. Sugar, flour, rice & potatoes. While I’ve done that, & I’m sure I’ll do it again, it may not be necessary to do it all the time. Though not diabetic, I have one of those little glucose test meters. Every now & again, I’ll pull it out to test how my body is reacting to whatever my latest dietary penchant is. Usually, I’m doing it to prove I can safely eat more of something that I think I ought not to be eating. And spuds are one thing that I want to repeatedly prove that I can eat more of!

Most of the week, my glucose levels were between 5.1 & 5.5 mmol/l (92 & 99 mg/dl), even after meals. When I’m monitoring like this, my fingers look like pin cushions so I measured immediately after eating, one & two hours after eating, etc. That was still my range. Pretty good, eh! Yesterday, however, I boiled & cooled a huge pot of potatoes. I stuck them in the fridge to cool, in order to convert some of the starch to resistant starch (more on this another day). Then I pan-fried them, in the leftover grease from frying bacon (pasture raised this time), with an onion. Finally, I added a large pot of boiled Brussels sprouts to the pan. Along with all the herbs & seasonings. I ate dinner from the “bucket” that was the focus of my post from a few days back. I was stuffed. And I mean really stuffed. So what happened to my blood sugar level?

After eating, it was 7.2 (130 ml/dl) mmol/l. A little over three hours later it was 6.8 (122 ml/dl) mmol/l & this morning, it was 6.1 mmol/l (110 mg/dl). Those aren’t really awful, & they’re a little slow to come down for sure. Still, I prefer to be in the five point something range most of the time. I was, however, running low carb prior to this so maybe my body needs to get used to controlling carbs again? Hey, I like that concept … I’m going to feast on potatoes for the next couple of days to see if the glucose control improves! Whoohoo!

Oops! I forgot to mention something. I ate a large, oil & vinegar drenched, feta & tomato salad before the bucket of spuds. And someone might have left a bit of steak on their plate that I just had to have a taste of. In my defense, it was a grass-fed steak! And … about an hour after dinner … I had a big bowl of that raisin, nut & chocolate mix. With these really sweet, dried fig, mango & coconut balls. All covered in cream. I wonder if that did anything to the blood sugar! 🙂

I was also supposed to be on a one meal day fast, with dinner being the one meal. I guess it turned into three meals at dinner time. Is that okay, d’ya think!?!

Down 9.2 lbs.