If you follow my blog you will know that I have been reverse dieting for many months now which means I have been increasing the carbs and fats in my diet whilst aiming for minimal weight gain. I went from eating an average of around 80 carbs per day, to now eating 250. This has made such a significant difference in my energy and strength, but it has also forced me to consider the way I manage my food with regards to diabetes. Mainly because when food intake increases, so does insulin. This is not a bad thing as I know that this is the amount of food I am supposed to be eating in order to support other parts of my health. It’s not just about diabetes.
As a fan of reflective practice when it comes to experimenting with diets and exercise I have been comparing blood sugar trends to my daily food intake which has prompted me to make some decisions. A week or so ago, after consistently eating the same amount of carbs for breakfast for around 1 month, I noticed that if I ate more than around 40grams of carbohydrate with my breakfast, no matter what the food was or if I increased the bolus, it would usually spike my blood sugar. Starting the day with a hyper made me feel hungrier throughout the day which made it much harder to sticking to the reverse diet. Also, hypers really affect me mentally which causes anxiety and depression. As a result of this I decided to play around with the timing of my macros so I would eat a breakfast that focused more on protein and fats whilst factoring in the missing carbs to a later meal during the day. It really helped my mindset knowing that I wasn’t cutting food from my diet, I was just changing the time.
Playing with the timing of food is known as nutrient partitioning and it can be very beneficial to even the non-diabetic. The main reason for it is to reduce the morning insulin spike or to utilize it post workout; the body can really utilize carbohydrate for strength and recovery so I used the carbs that I cut from my breakfast and added them to my post workout meals. So rather than cutting the carbs which is not part of the plan, I just eat them at a higher quantity where they are more effective. I’ve only been trialing this for one week and I can already feel the benefits from my less chaotic blood sugar. My mind feels much more peaceful and I feel satisfied.
Just in case you’re curious, my current macro breakdown is 250 carbs / 140 protein / 55 fat and I am training 6 days per week with a combination of weight lifting, dancing, pole dancing, yoga, 1 session of kettlebell circuit training and walking. Within the next couple of weeks I will add in some HIIT cardio to experiment with my calorie intake.
Do you feel any difference with the time of day you are eating the main bulk of your carbs?