I used to eat cereal in the morning thinking I was doing right by my body, lowering fat as much as possible and getting my “whole grains” in. I write “whole grains” because typical breakfast cereals are made from milled down, processed wheat, and on top of that contain added sugar.
About two to three hours after breakfast I would be so hungry I felt ill. My hands would tremble and I felt like I wanted to eat the first thing in my sight. My head also felt fuzzy, my body heavy, and sometimes I would feel a ringing in my ears.
These were all symptoms of hypoglycemia, and they’re all symptoms I don’t deal with anymore since I reduced my carbohydrate intake.
There are various reasons for developing hypoglycemia. The situation I am describing results from a meal heavy in carbohydrates, a food induced hypoglycemia. The severe spike in blood sugar causes the pancreas to release excess insulin, and the excess insulin forces blood sugar levels down too much.
Reactive hypoglycemia or postprandial hypoglycemia, as this is called, is a problem for many people.
A young lady I was working with recently, remarked around 4 pm that she felt shaky and ravenous. She was not overweight and did not suffer from any form of diabetes. She headed off to visit a vending machine and came back with one of those pasta cups that comes with a packet of dried cheese to mix in.
This as an example of the set-up for blood sugar disaster. You start the day with processed food that floods the bloodstream with sugar, and then become ravenous due to low blood sugar following that choice. That causes you to eat more carbohydrates, producing another blood sugar spike and plummet. On and on the blood sugar swings go.
If this sounds like you, I must ask, aren’t you tired of feeling like this? If you think it’s normal to feel ravenously hungry and shaky in between meals, or in the morning following a dinner loaded with carbohydrates, I’m telling you it’s not.
If you are tired, consider starting the day with what I have pictured below.
All I did here was stir fry some collard greens and mushrooms for a few minutes and top with some eggs. I chose to cook everything in some butter but you could use a different fat like olive oil. Be sure not to cook on high heat.
You could use different vegetables if you don’t like what I used here. As long as the vegetables are high fiber and low in carbohydrate it’s all good. All the fiber can be excluded from the carbohydrate count because it is not absorbed. You also need the roughage for the health of your digestive tract.
Don’t like eggs? Then make the vegetables and top with cheese. If you don’t eat animal products then why not have the veggies with some tofu or avocado? There are many options for different diets; there isn’t one way to be healthy. I’m shooting for minimal processing and minimal impact on blood sugar.
The point is to feel satiated and go easy on your blood sugar so that you ease gracefully into hunger before your next meal, avoiding what I call “hangry” (hungry + angry).
Reducing carbohydrates requires a transition, so don’t give up after trying this for one day. Your body needs time to adjust to burning less sugar for energy. And that’s good news, because if you are holding on to extra weight, eating this way will help you burn fat.
Upping your fat intake, but eating it together with processed carbs will make you feel fuller longer, however fat will delay the absorption of all that sugar and the spike will end up coming several hours later.
When you add fat to your diet you must do it in a way that replaces the carbohydrate and sugar. You can’t have your cake and eat it too.