The one carb rule to lose weight & balance blood sugar
If you are not vegan, and/or consume processed foods, oils and eat more than 15% of our total daily calories from fat, you can manage your blood sugar levels with carbohydrate restriction. For anyone who has high blood sugar and/or wants to lose weight, but doesn’t want to give up animal products, the one carb rule per meal is very effective. The amount of processed carbohydrates people eat at one time are typically way too high, which cause insulin spikes and weight gain. By only plating one carb, not exceeding 30 grams, and pairing it with a moderate amount of protein and a little bit of fat, blood sugar shouldn’t skyrocket as much. For example, a half of cup of cooked oatmeal, a banana, two eggs and a strawberry yogurt, would be considered 2 ½ carbs, or 2 ½ times the amount of carbs you should eat at one time.
The oatmeal (30 grams) + banana (30 grams) + yogurt (18 grams) = 78 grams of carbs. To put it in perspective, a Hershey Chocolate Bar has 20 grams of carbs (1). So have the oatmeal and the eggs (choose egg whites, or egg replacer, over whole eggs to reduce fat and cholesterol consumption) and add some slivered almonds for the fat component; or the banana, egg whites and almonds; or the yogurt with almonds and egg whites, but not all three carbohydrate foods at one sitting.
You’re not going to starve by limiting one carb per meal, because, by adding protein, a little bit of healthy fat, like some nuts, a sprinkle of seeds, or a little bit of chopped avocado, and/or some greens, it will fill you up, but not for long. That’s why you want to eat every two-to-three hours, but don’t exceed six mini meals a day, because then, you’ll be eating too many calories and carbohydrates overall. Breaking up the carbs, instead of having a large carb-loaded meal, will help manage the blood sugar highs and lows.
Here’s some examples of one carb mini meals:
- Fruit smoothie with one banana, low-carb protein powder (not exceeding 5 grams of carbs), one tablespoon almond butter
- Tilapia salad with orange slices, red bell pepper, lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, olives, and a drizzle of dressing
- Steak with ½ cup of roasted potatoes with broccoli
- Tuna with two ounces of pasta (check box to confirm amount of carbs)
- Tofu with asparagus and a large apple
- Beans (1/2 cup) with zucchini noodles (1 zucchini) with garlic & spinach
Other steps to take to keep blood sugar stable is to make sure the proteins you choose are low in fat and don’t exceed 20 grams of protein per meal. Eating too much protein leads to weight gain, which will make managing blood sugar that much harder. You can use an online app like Cronometer to calculate the carbs, calories and protein.
Lastly, exercise. Eating well-proportioned meals is important to staying healthy, but if you’re not engaging in 30 minutes of some sort of challenging cardiovascular or strength activity, those blood sugars may not drop enough.
All it takes is a little planning, and some optimism. The weight will come off and blood sugar will come down. If you’re taking pills or insulin, don’t stop taking your medication, but keep testing your blood sugar with your test meter, and stay in contact with your doctor to determine if the medication needs to be increased or lowered.
P.S. If you want to reverse diabetes, enjoy lots of carbs again, take control over your health, and are willing to make real changes, order my flexitarian dairy-free, plant-based diet book at http://www.thehighfivediet.com
For healthy, yummy, whole-food, diabetic-friendly, dairy-free & gluten-free, carb-controlled desserts, check out my newest dessert cookbook
Photo: When out to a Japanese restaurant, limit your sushi roll to just one. These average 30-40 grams of carbs from rice for each one.