The Top 10 Ways to Eat Less and Avoid Diabetes
Food is so tempting…and many of us succumb to bad eating habits that cause us to overeat and often to develop high blood sugar that leads to diabetes. Make as many of these 10 ways to eat less as you can into lifelong habits to ensure that you don’t become diabetic.
- Stop eating grains as much as possible. Reduce your consumption as much as you can of rice and breads made with grains (even whole grains), and avoid mashed potatoes, corn-based products, and foods that have been blended with starches. Substitute foods like lentils, whole potatoes, tapioca, taro and yams but only in ways that allow you to chew them. These types of foods provide your body with fiber and fiber-associated nutrients in their natural form. Fibers naturally present in lentils, for example, take longer to digest and result in a slower elevation of blood sugar after your meal, compared to grain products that digest quickly. This means less insulin release, slower removal of sugar from the blood, and less craving for a snack a few hours after breakfast or lunch.
- Suck on a hard mint when you feel hungry between meals. You will find your craving to snack will almost always subside if you pop a mint in your mouth and slowly suck on it. Even a small amount of sugar from the mint is enough to reduce food craving.
- Chew food slowly. Most people simply too fast. Slow down, because as you chew, you are warming and mixing the food, releasing nutrient molecules so they can attach to the taste buds and be carried to the smell receptors in the nose, resulting in signals to the brain. The brain, in turn, translates these signals into a pleasing eating experience. Slow chewing helps your brain regulate your digestive process and provides you with signal to stop eating when you’ve had enough nutrient intake. In one study, hungry participants ate an average of 13 grams less carbohydrate when they paid attention to taste sensations during a meal compared to their normal intake.
- Little by little, leave an increasing amount of food on your plate. This is a simple way to learn to boost your will power. Start by leaving 1/8 of the food, then 2/8, and finally up to 1/3 of the food served to you. This test will allow you to investigate what signals it takes to give your digestive system the sense of satisfaction. Of course, the most useful foods to leave on the plate are the carbohydrates made from grains like rice, pasta, bread, or mashed potatoes.
- Add herbs and spices to all your dishes. When you eat energy-containing foods, your body is seeking micro-nutrients to metabolize any extra carbohydrates. One of the best sources of micro-nutrients are natural spices and herbs that come from different parts of plants. I also contend that the use of spices and herbs also make meals more enjoyable because, in the brain, the heightened tastes signify the arrival of a needed micro-nutrient in the body.
- Identify and modify areas in your home that break your control over food. Work on creating an environment that is not focused around food in your home. For example, put all food in cabinets where it can’t be seen. If you are surrounded by pleasing sensations that are commonly paired with eating, it’s hard to deny the impulse to snack on carbs between meals.
- Prepare ahead of time for going to grocery stores. Don’t shop on an empty stomach and use a prepared shopping list – both recommendations will help you not be tempted to buy unhealthy items (e.g., junk food) on impulse. Avoid locations associated with impulse purchasing such as snack food aisles in convenience stores, stores serving free food samples, and vending machines that prompt you to buy food on impulse.
- Avoid the sight and smell of alluring sweets. Foods like ice cream, cookies, and cakes will usually stimulate your urge to eat, so don’t buy or bake desserts and don’t stock ice cream in your freezer. The goal is to decrease temptation by reducing the sights, sounds, and smells of impulses that have become patterned in your mind from childhood.
- Become aware when you are eating to deal with stress. If you tend to eat out of stress when you’re not hungry, learn to adjust your response to stressful events. This is because your eating response is interconnected with your reactions to stress, and runs through many well-established linked pathways in your brain. You may need professional help to create new ways to deal with stress-related events.
- Focus on eating when you sit at a meal, not watching TV. When you eat in response to hunger, your subconscious mind helps you select foods based on nutritional value. The decision making part of your conscious mind analyzes signals coming from the sensory receptors and decides whether you are still in need of nutrients and should keep eating. However, if you are watching TV, reading or performing an action while eating, the conscious part of your mind is engaged and your subconscious mind will simply follow the past eating behavior already programmed.
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Based on more than twenty years of research, Eat, Chew, Live offers a revolutionary new explanation of high blood sugar and Type 2 diabetes. While traditional medicine says it is due to “insulin resistance,” Dr. Poothullil disagrees. Eat, Chew, Live will show you:
- How the consumption of grains causes your body to develop high blood sugar
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- How you can change your eating habits to avoid grains while still enjoying every meal
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