How to Keep Glucose Levels Stable & Prevent Blood Sugar Spikes

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7 Expert-Backed Tips for Keeping Your Blood Sugar Stable:
A Comprehensive Guide to Preventing Spikes and Maintaining Control

Discover expert-backed tips for managing your glucose levels and maintaining metabolic health. Learn how to prevent blood sugar spikes and feel your best!

Blood sugar stability is essential for maintaining good health and preventing chronic diseases like diabetes. With so many factors affecting blood sugar levels, it can be challenging to keep them under control.

That’s why we've compiled 7 expert-backed tips to help you maintain stable blood sugar levels. Whether you have diabetes or are looking to prevent spikes, this comprehensive guide will provide you with practical and effective strategies to keep your blood sugar in check.

Let's dive in…

Jump to Topic:
What is Glucose?
Why Should I Manage My Glucose?
Indicators of Blood Sugar Spikes
7 Ways Prevent Blood Sugar Spikes
Summary

What Is Glucose?

Glucose, or blood sugar, is our body’s primary source of energy. We get glucose from carbohydrates, which we commonly refer to as starchy foods (potatoes, rice, pasta, bread) and sugary foods (fruits, cakes, cookies).

Eating the right carbohydrates can allow for a steady flow of energy, while others can lead to energy spikes and subsequent drops.

Glucose in the blood stream

Why Should I Manage My Glucose?

You might be wondering why anyone would need to “manage” their blood sugar. When glucose levels are consistently too high or too low, it can lead to a range of health issues.

If glucose levels are consistently high, it can damage blood vessels, nerves, and organs over time. This can lead to a variety of health complications such as heart disease, kidney damage, nerve damage, and blindness. In addition, high glucose levels can weaken the immune system, making it harder for the body to fight off infections.

On the other hand, if glucose levels are consistently too low, it can cause symptoms such as shakiness, confusion, and even seizures. In severe cases, low glucose levels can lead to coma or even death.

In a pre-Covid study from NIH, results showed that only 12% of Americans are metabolically healthy. Factors contributing to metabolic health are:

  • blood sugar (70mg/dL-100mg/dL)
  • waist circumference (>40” for men, >34.6 for women)
  • blood pressure (≤120/80)
  • cholesterol (low as possible LDL, HDL ≥40md/dL men and ≥50md/dL women)
  • triglycerides (<150 mg/dL)

We often think of glucose management as something only diabetics need to worry about, but as we can see, managing blood sugar levels is a prime indicator of health, so it is imperative for non diabetics as well. New studies are even referring to Alzheimers as Type 3 diabetes.

Indicators of Blood Sugar Spikes

There are some common indicators that will let you know you are suffering from blood sugar spikes and drops. Knowing these can help us make better diet and lifestyle choices to help manage our glucose levels.

  • Do you find yourself constantly hungry?
  • Do you suffer from lots of cravings?
  • Do you find yourself chronically tired or suffer from low energy?
  • Do you wake up in the middle of the night with a pounding heart?
  • Do you suffer from colds and infections frequently?
  • Have you been diagnosed with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease?

If you answer yes to any of these, you may be experiencing blood sugar spikes. Keep reading for tips you can incorporate to self-manage your glucose levels!

Strength Training to help maintain healthy glucose levels

How to Prevent Blood Sugar Spikes and keep blood sugar stable:

1. Eating foods in the right order

Eating foods in the right order can reduce your glucose spike by 73%, regardless of whether you have diabetes or not. A Study was performed on a group of diabetics where one group ate as normal, and the other followed the directed order.

Veggies/Fiber →Protein →Fat→Starches →Sweets

Both groups ate the same exact food and number of calories. The group who followed the order saw a significant reduction in their A1c levels, where the other group saw no improvement.

2. Start your day with a savory breakfast

Avoid eating cereal, muffins and pancakes to start your day. These starchy and sugary foods can spike your glucose quickly up to >140mg/dL, which is the cutoff for diabetes. Starting your day protein eggs, greek yogurt, smoked salmon or a protein shake can help give you a much more steady flow of energy that will even reduce cravings through the day.

3. Choose dessert vs. a sweet snack

This goes hand in hand with Tip #1. Enjoying your dessert “attached” to a meal will produce a much lower glucose spike than a separate sugary snack alone.

4. Vinegar before you eat

Mix 1 tbsp of vinegar into a tall glass of water and drink before you eat your meal. You may want to experiment and work your way up to 1 tbsp. Apple cider vinegar is the most popular for this hack, but all vinegars work well. This can help reduce the post meal glucose spike by 8-30%.

5. Incorporate a 10 minute post-meal walk

Each body movement requires energy. More energy expenditure, means more glucose needs. Taking a post-meal walk, directs the glucose to our muscles leading to flatten the glucose spike.

6. If you want to snack, opt for savory

This speaks to Tip 3 and the upcoming Tip 7. Lots of blood sugar spikes throughout the day can affect our mood and mental health. Opting for a savory snack over a sweet snack reduces the glucose impact

7. Dress your carbs

Pairing a carb with a fat, protein, or fiber will significantly reduce the glucose spike. Think whole wheat toast with avocado, apple with peanut butter, grapes with cheese.

Summary

Glucose, also known as blood sugar, is the primary source of energy for our bodies, and managing our glucose levels is crucial for overall health. While many people associate glucose management with diabetes, it is a vital indicator of metabolic health for everyone.

Symptoms of blood sugar spikes include hunger, cravings, fatigue, and frequent colds or infections. However, there are several expert-backed tips for preventing spikes and maintaining stable blood sugar levels. These include eating foods in the right order, starting the day with a savory breakfast, choosing dessert over a sweet snack, taking a post-meal walk, and dressing your carbs.

By following these tips, you can keep your glucose levels under control and enjoy improved overall health.

If you are new to The Perfect Workout, try a FREE workout with us.

Strength Training for Controlling Biomarkers

Strength Training for Controlling Biomarkers

Mission Monday Episode 16

Strength Training for Controlling Biomarkers

Mission Monday Episode 16

The human body is an incredibly complex and evolved organism.

One of the wonderful features of the human body is it often provides signs when something is wrong.

These signs typically appear early in the process, communicating with us before something more severe happens.

These signs include changes in how we look, feel, or how things appear during medical examinations.

Some of these measurable signs are referred to as biomarkers.

Biomarkers

Biomarkers are measures of whether or not something is abnormal.

Common biomarkers are measures of inflammation and oxidative stress. On a long-term basis, elevated amounts of inflammation and oxidative stress both increase the risk of common health issues.

These issues include:

Ideally, we want to keep these biomarkers at lower, healthier amounts.

Strength Training & Biomarkers

A few studies show that strength training can help us achieve this. Specifically, the research shows that training — 2-3 times per week for as little as 8 weeks — can improve key biomarkers

Among the benefits are reductions in insulin, cholesterol, triglycerides, oxidative stress, and C-reactive protein.

Strength training also increased high-density lipoproteins, which are commonly referred to as the “good cholesterol.”

These changes indicate a greatly reduced risk of developing diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.

In summary, elevated biomarkers let us know that we’re at risk for developing many of the most common diseases.

Thankfully, strength training can help by reducing inflammation, insulin, oxidative stress, and other potentially concerning markers.

Strength training can provide these benefits in as little as 2 months.

If you would like to learn more about our method of strength training, read about our methodology. If you are new to The Perfect Workout, try a workout with us and book a FREE Introductory Session.

  • Gacitua, T., Karachon, L., Romero, E., Parra, P., Poblete, C., Russell, J., & Rodrigo, R. (2018). Effects of resistance training on oxidative stress-related biomarkers in metabolic diseases: a review. Sport Sciences for Health, 14(1), 1-7.
  • Kolahdouzi, S., Baghadam, M., Kani-Golzar, F. A., Saeidi, A., Jabbour, G., Ayadi, A., … & Zouhal, H. (2019). Progressive circuit resistance training improves inflammatory biomarkers and insulin resistance in obese men. Physiology & Behavior, 205, 15-21.
  • Olson, T. P., Dengel, D. R., Leon, A. S., & Schmitz, K. H. (2007). Changes in inflammatory biomarkers following one-year of moderate resistance training in overweight women. International Journal of Obesity, 31(6), 996-1003.
The Perfect Workout CEO explaining training for mental health

Training for Mental Health

Training for Mental Health Mission Monday Episode 19 Training for Mental Health Mission Monday Episode 19 The last two years have been challenging for people’s

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Neuropathy, Diabetes, & Arthritis – (how she did it…)

exercise with neuropathy, diabetes & arthritis: How she's stayed active through it all

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When lifelong athlete Bryna Rifkind found herself struggling to exercise with neuropathy, type II diabetes, and arthritis after cancer treatment, she tried something new.

She found slow-motion strength training, and for over 6 years has been religious about staying consistent with her workouts.

Bryna Featured Image

In 2001, Bryna Rifkind was diagnosed with cancer. Throughout her treatment she developed neuropathy in her feet. Neuropathy is a “disease or dysfunction of one or more peripheral nerves, typically causing numbness or weakness” (Oxford).

She could not wear shoes, certain items of clothing, and her activity was limited. 

I couldn't even do swimming because the mere action of moving your feet back and forth felt as though somebody was whipping my feet.”

As a self-proclaimed “jock,” she had always exercised and knew she needed to remain active. But her limitations and level of pain made that challenging.

After doing research, Bryna found that strength training was the smartest exercise solution for her. She began to lift weights at her local YMCA, but she experienced pain in her knee and the workout just didn’t “feel right.”

In 2013 Bryna was diagnosed with type II diabetes and she realized she couldn’t do this alone. She needed help.

“I needed to have something formal, something that somebody could help me with.” 

Bryna came across an article about a doctor who used to bicycle and run but traded those methods in for a different way of exercising: slow-motion strength training. The doctor’s personal story and affirmations saying this method was good for cardiovascular health was just enough to get her to try it herself.

Dr. Howard Testimonial

In August 2014, Bryna joined The Perfect Workout’s San Mateo studio.

“I believed in weightlifting, so I joined. After I read everything [about the science] and went through the practice workout, I said, ‘Yep, this works.’ And I've been very religious about it.”

And she wasn’t kidding! Ever since joining, Bryna has trained with her Personal Trainers twice a week, every week, even when she traveled to the East Coast. 

At the time we didn’t have Virtual Training, which allows you to train from anywhere. Luckily we had studios in Bethesda, MD and Alexandria, VA to keep her workouts consistent week-to-week.

“This has been really, really an important part of my life.”

In addition to battling cancer treatments and diabetes, Bryna has faced a number of ailments. In 1992 she injured her hip in a car accident which developed into arthritis. She’s also had injuries in both shoulders. 

But no matter the injury or issue, her Personal Trainers adapted her workouts. 

 

Bryna’s 20-minute workouts have also:

  • Helped her get stronger
  • Increased her stamina for daily life
  • Become a tool to combat depression


“This is a gift I give myself.”

Bryna believes the quality of the Trainers at all of the studios she’s visited has been exceptional. She’s always felt close to them and appreciates that they make accommodations for how she’s feeling. 

“I really do feel cared for. And, that is exceptional. I expect to be doing this for a long time.

Diabetes & Blood Pressure Under Control (naturally)

how he got diabetes & blood pressure under control...naturally

personal trainer

A Mediterranean escape on the itinerary.

A plan to get in shape.

A perfect workout to help get him there.

Then COVID hit.

Read about our client Tom Curry’s story of keeping up with his get-in-vacation-shape plan during quarantine and the surprising health improvements he made training at home.

His Vacation Motivation

Tom’s story started with his wife, Cathy. She had been training in our West Plano studio for about a year and a half before she finally got Tom to try it out. The only exercise Tom had been doing was walking his dogs twice a day. It was better than nothing, but not nearly enough to get in shape for a big trip they had planned.

Going to Greece was on the horizon for the Curry’s and Tom had made it a goal to get in shape for it. 

“We were going to be doing a lot of walking and I just wanted to make sure I could handle all of that for the trip.”

Tom had done weight training before but never tried the slow-motion strength workout we do at The Perfect Workout. In less than a year, it’s proven to be more effective than anything else he’s done.  

With just two, 20-minute workouts a week, Tom feels like he has more energy each day, especially the next day after his workout. And he is getting the benefits of a cardio workout with strength training. 

“I never was a big cardio fan. The idea of getting on a treadmill and doing that was not ever very much fun. I'm getting cardio with this workout, because I can certainly tell my heart's beating faster!”

Tom got in the groove of training at the studio twice a week and felt excited about his new workout regimen and how it would help him tackle the hills of Greece, and then COVID hit.

COVID Didn’t Halt his Progress

“I was skeptical of this at home (Virtual Personal Training) at first just because I'm not very good at doing things here at the house.”

Many people struggle to keep up with their workouts at home, which is why having a Personal Trainer, even via video, makes each session productive and worthwhile. 

“It’s motivation knowing that I'm connecting with somebody, even if it's on a computer screen.”

Luckily, being a resident in West Plano, TX, Tom didn’t have to quarantine nearly as long as other parts of the country, so he was back in the studio as soon as it opened back up.

After going back [to the studio] I didn't lose any ground. That was nice not having to start all over again. I can certainly tell now that I'm back in the studio that I'm a lot stronger than I was.

But Tom is considered “high-risk” in COVID-terms so he needed reassurance that the studio would be a safe place for him to workout if he returned.

Tom was in excellent hands returning to the studio since we are by-appointment-only and adhere to all CDC guidelines on distance, masks, and sanitation, We've even gone one step further and installed HEPA air filters in each room, which cleans the air every 2-3 minutes, just like on airplanes and in hospitals. 

“They're doing a great job keeping it clean and the number of clients down. I'm in one of those categories they say you got to be really careful So far, I've felt safe.”

Diabetes & Blood Pressure Under Control

Tom has Type II Diabetes and almost a year ago he was having problems managing his A1-C levels. His Doctor was changing his medications to see if they could get it under control. After dropping one type of medication, his A1-C levels spiked up to 7.4 (anything over 7 is considered “bad.”) 

During quarantine and over the course of his Virtual Training Sessions, Tom was able to lower his levels back down to 6.4. 

“I dropped a full point during the pandemic doing things at home!”

In addition, his blood pressure dropped as a result of his 20-minute strength training workouts.

Feeling Good About Health Again

“I sing the praises when somebody asked me about [The Perfect Workout] because I think it's, far easier to go do something like this than to spend 45 minutes in a gym- 25 minutes on a treadmill and, and then trying to pick out your own routine with weights which you're inevitably going to screw something up.”

Tom is extremely happy with all of the Personal Trainers he’s worked with. They’ve all been very encouraging and are personally invested in his progress. He feels like the entire team has been very engaged in helping him make positive changes in his health.

“I really feel good about my health.“

The Best Kept Secret to Controlling Diabetes

The Best Kept Secret To Controlling Diabetes

Personal Training Southwest San Jose CA

“My diabetes is so under control, my Doctor doesn’t even want to see me anymore.”- Larry H.

This is every patient’s dream outcome. And if you’ve got diabetes you know that frequent trips to the doctor are pretty common.

It’s a shame more people with diabetes aren’t doing what Larry did to get his levels under control.

What’s that? You want to know what he’s been doing?

Slow-motion strength training of course 😉

What is Diabetes?

“Diabetes is a chronic (long-lasting) health condition that affects how your body turns food into energy. If you have diabetes, your body either doesn’t make enough insulin or can’t use the insulin it makes as well as it should. When there isn’t enough insulin or cells stop responding to insulin, too much blood sugar stays in your bloodstream.” (CDC)

Who Gets Diabetes?

Just about anyone can develop diabetes, but first let’s decipher the difference between the different types. There are two main types:

  • Type I Diabetes: an autoimmune disease typically diagnosed in children and young adults. There is no prevention for this type.
  • Type II Diabetes: 90% of people with diabetes have this type. It is generally a result of unhealthy lifestyle factors such as diet and lack of exercise/activity.
Personal Trainer Southwest San Jose CA

How Serious Is It?

Very serious if not controlled.

“In the United States, 88 million adults—more than 1 in 3—have prediabetes. With prediabetes, blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not high enough yet to be diagnosed as type 2 diabetes” (CDC.)

The very serious thing about prediabetes and diabetes is it raises your risk for other serious issues like heart disease, kidney disease, vision loss, stroke and even loss of limbs.

Diabetes is also strongly correlated with obesity- a major cause of many health issues.

Producing a lot of insulin can lead to both diabetes and weight gain.

One solution is to decrease the need for insulin by improving insulin sensitivity… strength training.

Strength Trainer Southwest San Jose CA

How do you control it?

Fortunately, strength training improves insulin sensitivity, and therefore also decreases insulin in the blood.

Men and women between 50 and 70 years old strength trained for four months in one study [2]. They performed full body workouts three times per week, with each workout featuring 10 exercises. At the end, the trainees improved their insulin sensitivity by 21%.

A second study was similar in terms of length and age group [3], except the workout included only five exercises per session. The result was similar: a 25% improvement in insulin sensitivity. And, the trainees lost averages of 3 and 8.4 lbs of fat.

Effective strength training can help keep your insulin levels in check, helping you to manage your weight while reducing risk of diabetes.

Strength Training Southwest San Jose CA

how does strength training improve it?

People with type 2 diabetes have an abundance of glucose in their blood, an amount of blood sugar beyond what is considered a healthy level. High intensity exercise, such as strength training, is the only type of exercise that uses predominantly glucose as fuel.

One study conducted at Louisiana State University lasted nine months and the participants were men and women of various ethnicity and averaged 56 years of age. The average starting hemoglobin A1c (a measure of blood glucose over three months) was 7.7%. Six and a half percent is considered the minimum amount for type 2 diabetes.

The strength training regimen featured:

  • nine exercises targeting major muscle groups in the upper and lower body
  • each exercise was performed for one set
  • workouts were conducted twice per week


At the end of the study, the diabetic men and women experienced improvements in hemoglobin A1c ranging from 0.3 to 1.0%.

Forty-one percent of the participants improved by 0.5% or more, or were at least able to decrease their medications.

To put this into real-life perspective, a decrease in hemoglobin A1c as small as 0.3% is significant: it can translate to years of life regained.

The strength training program required a total of only 30 to 40 minutes per week, and the participants also walked approximately 100 minutes per week (an average of about 14 minutes of walking a day).

At The Perfect Workout, we know of a number of people with type 2 diabetes who improved their blood glucose with strength training and no other changes in their lifestyle.

They simply showed up for a high-intensity strength training session twice per week for about 20 minutes each visit.

That’s good news for people with diabetes looking to improve their health and extend their lives.

  • Church, T. S., Blair, S. N., Cocreham, S., Johannsen, N., Johnson, W., Kramer, K., … & Earnest, C. P. (2010). Effects of aerobic and resistance training on hemoglobin A1c levels in patients with type 2 diabetes. JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association, 304(20), 2253-2262.
  • Turner, R. C., Holman, R. R., Cull, C. C., Stratton, I. M., Matthews, D. R., Frighi, V., …Hadden, C. (1998). Intensive blood-glucose control with sulphonylureas or insulin compared with conventional treatment and risk of complications in patients with type 2 diabetes (UKPDS 33). The Lancet (British Edition), 352(9131), 837.
  • Cauza, E., Hanusch-Enserer, U., Strasser, B., Ludvik, B., Metz-Schimmerl, S.,…Pacini, G. (2005). The relative benefits of endurance and strength training on the metabolic factors and muscle function of people with type 2 diabetes mellitus. The Archives of Physiology and Medical Rehabilitation, 86(8), 1527-1533.
  • Brooks, N., Layne, J. E., Gordon, P. L., Roubenoff, R., Nelson, M. E. Castaneda-Sceppa, C. (2007). Strength training improves muscle quality and insulin sensitivity in hispanic older adults with type 2 diabetes. International Journal of Medical Sciences, 4(1),

Training: At-Risk of Heart Disease & Diabetes

Strength Training for those at-risk of heart disease & diabetes

strength training for those at high risk

Over 18 million US. adults have Heart Disease,

34.2 million have diabetes.

There are countless medications out there to treat them both.

We're prescribing a “medication” for those who are at risk of developing either one.. and it may not be what you think.

“Metabolic syndrome” is a phrase health professionals and researchers use to classify people who are at risk for developing heart disease or diabetes. While it’s not something that requires medication to treat, it’s a status that needs attention. A person with metabolic syndrome has unhealthy levels in most of the following: lipids (cholesterol) and triglycerides (fats) in the bloodstream, blood glucose, blood pressure, and waist size.

There is a “medication” that can improve all metabolic syndrome measures (and I think you know where I’m going with this): strength training…and specifically using The Perfect Workout formula!

slow speed, ideal intensity, muscle use

Researchers from Seoul, South Korea, tested this in a study published in 2016. Adults with metabolic syndrome participated in time-efficient strength training sessions twice per week. The workouts required 30 minutes or less. (Does this sound familiar?)

Before and after, the researchers measured all factors related to metabolic syndrome in these people labeled as high risk. Here’s what happened:

  • Triglycerides decreased by 25%.
  • HDLs, or good cholesterol, increased by 5%.
  • Waist size and systolic blood pressure both decreased by 4%.
  • Blood sugar, which was at a healthy level to start with, dropped by 3%.
  • Grip strength and muscle mass were both enhanced, with muscle mass increasing by about 10%.

Furthermore, the training was safe. 94% of the original participants completed the entire program, and no injuries were noted.

While not all of the changes were large, changes in all of those important health measures accumulate to a meaningful change in health risk. Reductions in triglycerides, waist, blood pressure, and blood glucose, with an increase in HDLs, are likely to significantly reduce the overall risk of developing diabetes or heart disease. Also, the training led to desirable side effects: more strength and muscle!

male client with female trainer doing a leg press on a machine

If you or your loved ones have seen elevated blood pressure, blood glucose, or waist measurements in recent years, these could be signs of being on a path towards disease diagnosis. The research results show a clear option to reverse course: strength train twice per week for less than 30 minutes per workout.

Yoon, D.H., Song, H.S., Hwang, S.S., Son, J.S., Kim, D.Y., & Song, W. (2016). The effect of circuit training and workplace improvement program on the prevention of metabolic syndrome and the improvement of physical function in office workers. Korean Journal of Health Promotion, 16(2), 134-143.

Diabetes Research Institute Foundation

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention