Remember when a big holiday feast was one day? Nowadays with “friendsmas” and fridges full of leftovers, it’s a week-long of sugar-sweetened potatoes, full-fat cheeses, and treats that can increase cravings and derail healthy eating for a week leading up to the new year. Unfortunately, the damage goes deeper than just increased cravings. Overdoing the starch and sugar can elevate baseline fasting blood sugar for days after the week’s festivities.
Risks of elevated blood glucose.
Elevated fasting blood glucose is linked to an increased risk of Alzheimer’s, metabolic syndrome, and pre-diabetes along with elevated triglycerides and cholesterol. But you don’t even need to hit pre-diabetic glucose numbers (100 and 126 mg/dl.) to put yourself at risk. A review of all of the pre-diabetic and diabetic scientific research confirmed that even elevated blood sugar in the normal range puts you at risk for heart disease, stroke, kidney damage, nerve damage, dementia, and cancer. The normal fasting glucose range is considered 80 to 100 mg/dl., but the risks start as low as 90mg/dl.
Luckily, there are steps you can take to mitigate your blood sugar response. Use these tips today or throughout the holiday season to get a mini-boost of health and hormone balancing.
Wake up and hydrate.
Wake up and drink two large glasses of water to help flush out your system and lower blood glucose levels. It’s especially important if you have been drinking alcohol and might be dehydrated. When you’re dehydrated, the volume of blood decreases, and the blood glucose remains the same, meaning you have more concentrated blood sugar. Drinking water (we recommend 2L) can increase blood volume and decrease glucose concentration.
Move your body!
Start your morning after your feast with a fasted workout to help bring glucose levels down. Intermittent fasting is a great way to mitigate your hormonal responses throughout the season (without giving up on indulgences) and adding in a workout increases the benefits (if you want help figuring out the best type of intermittent fasting for your body,our nutritionist can recommend a few for you).Pick your favorite workout and get moving to burn up stored glycogen in your muscles and bring down elevated blood glucose. No need to HIIT your way back into balance (a gentle yoga flow is fine), but movement is mandatory to burn up elevated glucose.
Sip back into balance.
Shut down lingering cravings post-holiday with a protein-, fat-, and fiber-based green smoothie! Protein, fat and fiber all support blood sugar balance by slowing the absorption rate of glucose.
Unfortunately, one of the side effects of high blood glucose is increased hunger, so a protein-, fat-, and fiber-based meal can not only lower cravings but also satisfies cravings by calming over eight hunger hormones in the body.
Don’t blend up a smoothie loaded with fruit and dates along with the protein, or you will be defeating the purpose of it. The goal is to go low-sugar and low-starch to bring elevated glucose down.
- ¼ avocado
- 2 tablespoons chia or flaxseeds
- 1 small cucumber (Persian cucumber if available)
- ¼ cup fresh mint leaves
- 1 handful of spinach
- 1 lemon, freshly juiced
- 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
- 2 cups unsweetened nut milk
Add all ingredients to a blender, and blend until smooth. Enjoy!