If you're like me, and have turned to the ketogenic lifestyle for diabetes and optimal blood sugar control, I have a few tips to help get you on track. What we eat is very important, but we also have some tools (what we call "the trifecta") we can utilize to help heal our bodies, become more insulin sensitive, and achieve the goal of optimal blood sugar.
Eat to Your Meter
As a Type II diabetic, I opted out of medication and decided to take this journey naturally. If you are diabetic and bringing your numbers down, eating to your meter is very important, and especially so when going medication free. Test right before eating, then again two hours after your meal to get a good idea of how what you ate affected your body. Ideally, your two hour postprandial reading should be around where you started before the meal. This indicates a good meal for you!
If you see a lasting spike, look at your carbs and protein portion, and make sure you're getting enough fats to balance out the meal. Also, consider the food itself. Not all keto-approved foods agree with or are beneficial to everyone. Sweetener is an excellent example of an "approved" food that may cause problems for diabetics. And in my case, broccoli was trouble. I see spikes from both, but the broccoli was a big surprise! I also see larger spikes when eating chicken as a protein (which is leaner) compared to other foods.
The only way to find out how food affects you is to do the testing!
Exercise is an important part of any health endeavor. Resistance training, specifically, is very beneficial. This can be done in the form of weight lifting, or using resistance bands. The goal is to build muscle; the more muscle you build, the more insulin sensitive you become.
Many people tend to lean into a cardio preference (myself included). Getting moving is important, so if you prefer cardio to weights, go for it! Just keep in mind that you will yield better results in blood glucose and fat loss while building muscles, so doing some light resistance training on your cardio rest days could be beneficial.
Oh, that good ol' F-word. Fasting can seem scary at first, but don't let fear stop you from testing out taking a break from eating. Fasting allows your insulin level to come down, and for your body to use up stored glucose, and can help to restore insulin sensitivity (all of which is super important for diabetics!). Intermittent fasting (extending the time from dinner to breakfast) has proven to be beneficial for managing a plethora of health conditions, and is commonly the best way to start testing the fasting waters. Work your way up to longer fasts only as you feel comfortable, and talk to your doctor if you have any concerns about starting a fasting routine.