For help in lowering blood sugar levels, many are starting to find that a medical device called a continuous glucose monitor (CGM) is helpful. These are small instruments worn on the body to continuously monitor glucose levels in the interstitial fluid (the fluid between cells) day and night. People with diabetes typically use them to help manage their blood sugar levels, however, many are learning how to use CGMs for weight loss and healthier living.
Lowering blood sugar can help with weight loss, even if you don’t have insulin resistance or type 2 diabetes. When you consume carbohydrates, they become broken down into glucose, which enters your bloodstream and signals your pancreas to release insulin. Insulin helps move glucose into your cells for energy or storage. However, your cells don’t respond appropriately to insulin if you have insulin resistance. Glucose stays in your bloodstream, leading to high blood sugar levels.
High blood sugar levels can lead to cravings for sugary and high-carbohydrate foods, contributing to overeating and weight gain. By lowering blood sugar levels through diet and lifestyle changes, you can reduce cravings and better manage your appetite, which can ultimately help with weight loss.
A CGM uses a tiny sensor inserted under the skin to monitor glucose levels in the interstitial fluid. The sensor is connected to a transmitter that sends the glucose readings wirelessly to a receiver or a smartphone app. The device provides the following:
- Real-time glucose data.
- Allowing users to see how their glucose levels change in response to food.
- Physical activity.
A Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM) is a medical device used to monitor blood glucose levels over a period of time. While CGMs are used mainly for people with diabetes to manage their blood sugar levels, they can also be helpful for people trying to lose weight.
Continuous Glucose Monitors help provide insights into your diet, identify and avoid high GI foods, track your overall glucose trends, and help you prevent obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. There are several ways average people use these devices to improve their overall health. Read on to find out how to use CGMs for weight loss.
Use a CGM to identify and avoid high glycemic index (GI) foods
High glycemic index (GI) foods can cause a rapid increase in blood sugar levels, leading to a spike in insulin levels that can trigger hunger and cravings. By monitoring your blood sugar levels with a CGM, you can identify which foods cause the most significant spikes in blood sugar and avoid them.
There are many resources available online that provide information on high-GI foods. Some common examples include white bread, potatoes, sugary drinks, and candy. Familiarize yourself with these foods and make a list.
Before experimenting with different foods, use your CGM to establish a baseline for your blood sugar levels. This will give you a reference point to compare against when you eat other foods.
Select one high-GI food from your list and eat it as a meal or snack. Use your CGM to monitor your blood sugar levels over the next few hours. Take note of how your blood sugar levels respond to the high GI food. Did they spike quickly and then crash? Did you experience hunger or cravings shortly after eating? Record your observations so you can refer back to them later.
Once you have identified high GI foods that cause significant blood sugar spikes and other harmful effects, avoid them in the future. Instead, focus on eating low-GI foods that promote stable blood sugar levels and help you feel satisfied and energized.
Continue to experiment with different foods and monitor your blood sugar levels to determine which ones work best for you. Over time, you will develop a personalized diet that supports your weight loss goals and promotes overall health and wellness.
Use a CGM to track your response to different foods
Everyone’s body responds differently to different foods. You can determine which foods cause the most blood sugar fluctuations and hunger pangs by tracking your blood sugar levels with a CGM.
To get started, choose a range of foods you commonly eat or are interested in trying. Include both high-GI and low-GI foods. Ensure accurate and consistent results by eating a standardized portion of each food. For example, if you are testing the response to a banana, eat a medium-sized banana each time.
Use your CGM to monitor your blood sugar levels before you eat and then at regular intervals after you eat. Record your blood sugar levels at each time point. Pay attention to how your body responds to each food. Did your blood sugar levels spike rapidly and then crash? Did you feel hungry or tired shortly after eating? Make a note of any observations.
Once you have collected data on several foods, analyze the results to identify patterns. Which foods caused the least amount of blood sugar fluctuation? Which foods made you feel the most satisfied and energized?
Use the information you have gathered to adjust your diet and make more informed food choices. Focus on incorporating foods that promote stable blood sugar levels and help you feel satisfied and energized. Avoid foods that cause significant blood sugar spikes or leave you hungry or lethargic.
Remember to continue tracking your blood sugar levels and experimenting with different foods. Our bodies change, and what works for us now may not work either. You can optimize your diet and achieve your weight loss goals by staying engaged with the process.
Use a CGM to monitor your overall glucose trends
CGMs provide a wealth of information about how your body responds to food, exercise, and other factors that affect blood sugar levels. By monitoring your trends over time, you can identify patterns and adjust your diet and lifestyle to promote weight loss.
Before monitoring your overall glucose trends, establish a baseline for your blood sugar levels. This will give you a reference point to compare against when you make changes to your diet or lifestyle. To get an accurate picture of your overall glucose trends, wear your CGM consistently over days or weeks.
Look for patterns in your blood sugar levels. Do you see consistent spikes or drops at certain times of the day? Are there certain foods or activities that cause significant changes in your blood sugar levels? Use the information you have gathered to adjust your diet and lifestyle. For example, if your blood sugar levels consistently spike after eating a specific type of food, consider eliminating or reducing that food from your diet.
Continue to wear your CGM and track your progress over time. Take note of any improvements in your blood sugar levels or overall glucose trends.
Work with a healthcare professional
Suppose you are using a CGM to monitor your overall glucose trends. In that case, working with a healthcare professional to interpret your data and make informed decisions about your diet and lifestyle is essential. They can guide you in optimizing your CGM usage and help you develop a personalized plan based on your unique needs and goals.
A CGM can help you gain valuable insights into your body and optimize your diet and lifestyle for improved health and well-being, even if you don’t have diabetes. These instruments let you track your blood sugar levels in real time. When you find what is driving glucose fluctuations, you can make informed diet and lifestyle changes to improve your metabolic health, making it easier to lose weight. This, combined with healthy eating and habits, will help you lose weight. Also, working with a healthcare professional to interpret your data and make informed decisions about your health is essential.