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5 Easy Hacks for Blood Sugar Control

Dr. Spencer Nadolsky
Dr. Spencer Nadolsky

When patients think of diets to lower blood sugar naturally, they immediately think they need to cut out all their carbs and yummy foods and follow a bland deprivation diet. This is NOT the truth. There are some easy nutritional manipulations, or hacks, that can lower your blood sugar naturally—without misery.

Hack #1: Replace half of your starch with non-starchy vegetables.

For most patients with blood sugar issues, there is no need to completely cut out starch. Sure, you COULD cut it all out, but you don’t have to. An easy way to still enjoy it in your diet is taking the current portions you have and cutting them in half—replacing the other half with non-starchy vegetables. This way you still enjoy your favorite starch, while staying fuller longer, and getting more nutrients.

Hack #2: Replace a snack with a walk.

I have found most patients snack because they were told eating more often leads to better fat loss and blood sugar control. This is not true at all. All it does it increases your energy intake, slows down your fat burning, and worsens your blood sugar control. Instead of reaching for those peanut butter crackers or granola bars, go for a walk. It will lower your blood sugar naturally, boost up your fat burning, and help with stress.

The only exception to this is if someone is truly hungry at that moment and needs a bridge to their next meal. In these cases, a strategic apple or 1/4 cup of raw almonds will do the trick.

Hack #3: Include intentional fasting days.

Instead of trying to lower your calories and carbohydrates every single day, you can have days where you are intentionally more aggressive than others. My friend Pat Flynn and I call this nutritional periodization. The idea is similar to the concept of “Alternate Day Fasting.” But instead of having to fast every other day, you pick one or two days a week (or even three if needed) where you know you will be fine with fasting. 

To do this, you eat normally most days and on your fasting days you have one 500 calorie meal, plus or minus a small protein-based snack. We call these days Fat Funerals because you’re basically saying goodbye to your fat and your sugars. If you do this, though, talk with your doctor first and make sure your blood sugar doesn’t go too low.

Hack #4: Replace a meal with a protein shake.

One of the most powerful strategies for blood sugar control and losing weight is replacing a full meal with a protein shake. This works because you are automatically lowering calories and carbohydrates, without even thinking about it. The guesswork is gone and your hunger is still under control.

Shoot for about 30-50 grams of protein in a shake, which is about 1-2 scoops depending on the brand. I use whey protein, but you can use most any type of protein shake, if it doesn’t include extra sugar.

Hack #5: Develop your own easy meal template.

Many of my patients who are trying to lower blood sugar naturally, struggle with portion control and knowing what to eat in each meal. Replacing meals with a protein shake is great, but most people like to still eat whole food meals. You can follow a strict meal plan, but that doesn’t work in the long run because people like variety and having options. This is where meal templates come in. 

The basic idea is having a similar portion of each type of foods at each meal. Don’t worry, this doesn’t involve tediously weighing your food. For protein, you want to eat a portion that’s about the size of your palm—including lean protein like fish, lean beef, poultry, etc. Once you have your protein, add two fist-sized portions of non-starchy vegetables. Then, add an optional thumb-sized portion of a healthy fat like olive oil and if need be, and an optional fist-sized portion of your go-to cooked starch (sweet potatoes, brown rice, quinoa, etc.).

If you are able to put these five tips together, your ability to lower your blood sugar naturally while burning maximum fat will happen. Many of my patients get off their blood sugar medicines using the hacks above. If you would like more tips from me, check out my blog at DrSpencer.com.

10 Secrets to Beat High Blood Sugar and Diabetes

It’s never too late! These proven tips can help you get off the “sugary slope” and keep your blood sugar balanced, for good. (You won’t believe secret #6!)

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