until just about lunchtime when the grumblings from our collective bellies create a loud uprising and the text messages begin in earnest, “Lunch?”
High To Low
We’re satiated afterwards, driving the roller coaster back up the next crest before the obligatory trip to the vending machine for a snack at about 2-3pm, when the coaster is making another free fall. Up and down the rails the roller coaster travels, carrying our energy along for the ride. The energy highs and lows drive us to snack between meals, before meals and after meals until it becomes habit. This ritualized feeding has created lifestyle diseases like obesity, diabetes, atherosclerosis and heart disease. A lifestyle disease is characterized as a disease born of industrialization, one that can be prevented by habit changes in the areas of diet and lifestyle. The needle mover in the American diet, therefore, is balancing blood sugar.
The Easiest Way To Balance Blood Sugar Is Water
Blood sugar is the fuel that drives the roller coaster and the diet. Balancing it becomes the respite from the highs and lows encountered in a typical day. One of the easiest ways to balance blood sugar is by increasing the daily intake of water. Yes, water. Water is one of the main nutrients in the body, and is also the one that is most commonly overlooked when considering diet. Water is a potent inflammation fighter; it regulates metabolism and provides extra energy. But, the typical American is dehydrated daily, drinking far less than the average minimum requirement of 64 ounces. Checking for adequate water intake does not require a fancy test or a jab with a needle. Simple observation of the abundance of urine and a pale yellow color is validation of being fully hydrated.
Taste Drives What We Drink
“It doesn’t taste like anything” becomes the real issue, then, as palatability trumps ease. Drinking commercially prepared water that has added electrolytes, however, can result in another lifestyle disease – hypertension - as salt is a common electrolyte. Adding pure essential oils like lime, lemon or sweet orange add taste without adding sugar, caffeine or excess electrolytes to the diet. Natural spring water, purified water and tap water carried in a refillable bottle make access to water uncomplicated, albeit its consumption is not inevitable.
Take It Easy
When adding water to the diet, it must be done incrementally, adding approximately 4 - 8 ounces until the 64 ounces or .67% of the body weight is achieved. Keep in mind that as with any habit change, it will require time for the body to adapt. When adding water to the diet, you will be in the bathroom more often than you’re used to until the body adjusts to the increase.
Make It A Habit
Also, remember that knowledge does not equal behavioral change! Non-compliance is the number 1 concern in healthcare. Just because you know what you’re supposed to be doing, does not mean that you are taking it on as a habit. We spend our lives in the realm of knowledge. We are constantly moving information from what we don’t know into what we know. We have become a knowledgeable group that has spawned lifestyle diseases, because application of all this knowledge lives in the realm of habit change. We must get on the court and re-wire our brains so that our go-to responses are those which support healthy lifestyles.
Next week: Balancing blood sugar Part II
Reach Out Recovery Exclusive By: Elizabeth Viszt