While eating blood-sugar-friendly foods on a daily basis is best practice for avoiding glucose spikes, sometimes your favorite meals won’t necessarily fall into that category—and that’s OK.
Luckily, biochemist Jessie Inchauspe, author of Glucose Revolution: The Life-Changing Power of Balancing Your Blood Sugar, gave us an insider tip on a recent episode of the mindbodygreen podcast to help balance your blood sugar after eating, even if you had a rather glucose-spiking meal.
Why you should move your body after every meal.
Whether you finish a balanced meal or indulge in your favorite treat, here’s one way to work toward stabilized blood sugar levels: “After every meal, use your muscles for 10 minutes,” Inchauspe says.
Now, “using your muscles” sounds pretty vague, but that’s exactly Inchauspe’s point: Moving your body is the general directive, and you can take that advice in any way you choose. For example, you may opt for a post-dinner walk, clean up around the house, play with your kids, or something else entirely. As long as you’re moving, you’re putting in the necessary work. “Within an hour after the end of your meal, get up and go for a walk, maybe dance to a couple of your favorite songs, walk your dog, do the dishes, do the laundry—use your muscles in any way that you like,” Inchauspe adds.
Inchauspe echoes research done on this exact topic: In one randomized controlled trial, one group of adults was assigned to remain sedentary after their meal (think watching television on the couch) while another group opted for an active post-dinner activity. The results showed that those who moved their body within an hour of eating, even at low intensity and for only 10 minutes, helped manage their blood glucose levels.
Inchauspe breaks down how this works: “What happens is that every time a muscle contracts, it needs energy to do so, and the easiest place that your muscles are going to find this necessary energy is in the glucose in your bloodstream,” she explains. “And we can use this to our advantage.”
Not every meal can be perfectly balanced, which is why it’s important to have tricks like this on-hand. After every meal, move your body for at least 10 minutes in any way that resonates with you. If you do this within an hour of finishing your meal, you’ll be on your way to more balanced blood glucose levels. Inchauspe shared even more tips like this with us—here are some of our favorites—so make sure to tune in to the full episode, which we’ve oh-so conveniently grabbed for you down below: