Insulin is the hormone secreted by the pancreas when your blood sugar rises after eating food. It is the hormone behind fat loss — and fat gain.
Here, four tips to regulate that blood sugar and, in turn, practice insulin control when overindulgence at parties and get-togethers begin to take a toll. (Which, for most of us, is right about now.)
1. Eat your protein first. This will help stabilize your blood sugar while also providing a fullness that will help you to not over eat. Protein doesn’t raise blood sugar as much as carbohydrates, so eating protein in conjunction with your carbs will help to “average out” the insulin response of your body. For women, one palm-sized portion should suffice, while men should have at least one palm-sized portion but generally up to two.
2. Make sure you also, yes, eat your vegetables. Veggies are loaded with fiber, vitamins and minerals that actually slow the release of blood sugar and help to improve your gut health, which can also aid blood sugar-related problems. (Score!) Choose single-ingredient vegetable dishes over, say, a casserole style when possible, as there could be many hidden calories cooked into that creamy goodness. Women should have at least a portion the size of their fist and men two fist-sized portions.
3. Avoid overindulging on hors d’oeuvres or desserts. If you’re going to snack before or after the meal (and this time of year we all do), grab a portion and put it on your plate rather than hovering around the food spread. Point being: Select your portion and eat only that portion.
4. Don’t eat any carbohydrates without also eating a protein or fat with it. This includes alcohol and dessert! You don’t want to drink and/or crush that whole bowl of candy sitting out without having some protein or (good) fat with it. The blood sugar response of the “bad stuff” will be partially offset with the inclusion of protein and/or fat.
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