Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) seems to be trending right now. While traditionally, I shy away from the fads of the moment. I had my eye on this one. Rather than another shot in the dark, continuous glucose monitoring offered tangible results in real-time. Unlike the scale, CGM opened up the internal workings of my biology to understand how it responded to what I did.
In real time, I was able to see how my body was responding. More than what I do, health is truly how my body responds. Understanding this piece of data allowed me to create change, not on ideas, but facts.
It helped me feel better than I have in a long time. I loved it so much that my husband also decided to take it for a test spin. Inside this podcast, we talk about our results (some that were shocking) and the changes we’ve made to help regulate our blood sugar. And we both share our opinions on whether continuous glucose monitoring is worth the investment.
5 Things I Learned from Continuous Glucose Monitoring
I had no idea how valuable continuous glucose monitoring would be for me. I always knew the value of balancing blood glucose levels, but I made a lot of assumptions that I had it all figured out. I didn’t assume I had so much work to do.
My sister is currently in the middle of her 30 days of continuous glucose monitoring, and I think she said it best,
“It’s one thing to think it, but it’s an entirely different thing to see it. Seeing the changes in your glucose levels brings more emotion. It brings the desire to change.”
I couldn’t agree more.
Knowing isn’t generally enough to invoke change. There has to be a feeling. My results led to a feeling that created a desire to live healthier. It also made health personal, which is very much what I believe health is. Specific and unique to each of our bodies.
In this post, I share my results, plus the top five things I learned. They are similar and yet different than my husband’s results. I asked him to share his own opinions and lessons learned below.
5 Things My Husband Learned From CGM
Alexa tries a lot of different health things. It’s not uncommon for her to ask me to drink a new protein product or test out a new health tool or idea. Some are more extreme than others, but I generally meet them all with the same attitude. I don’t overthink it or invest too deeply into it.
At first, continuous glucose monitoring was no different. It was just another thing Alexa did. But when she showed me her results after a meal, I became much more invested. I wanted to know how I was responding. That’s why I decided to invest in continuous glucose monitoring for myself.
As requested by Alexa, here are a few things I realized from my results.
01. The Power of Eating Breakfast
You hear it all the time: eat breakfast. Even to an annoying degree. But just because you know something doesn’t mean you’ll do something.
Alexa has always pushed me to eat breakfast. Half of the time, I do, and half of the time, I find myself too busy to worry about it. I quickly neglect logic by calling it intermittent fasting.
But, I found that when I skipped breakfast (in the name of health or not), my blood glucose levels would become erratic whenever I did eat later in the day. My highs would be high, and my lows would be low. That is regardless of how stable they were doing the fast.
These spikes and valleys become impossible to re-regulate for the rest of the day.
When I ate breakfast and ate within reason, I found that my blood sugar was more stable the rest of the day. Proving breakfast is important in setting the stage for how my body responds to food throughout the day.
02: Daily Movement is Essential
I don’t dislike to move my body. But I often skip it in the name of busyness. Most days, I find it more important to get more work done or sleep in rather than get up and move my body.
I knew I needed to move, but I never felt convicted enough to stick with it consistently. Like all of my results, I felt more inclined to stick with it when I saw how it impacted my levels.
On the days I moved my body, I could keep my blood glucose levels steady, even while eating delicious food. I noticed movement had a lasting impact, allowing me to get a two or three-day streak that meant my blood glucose levels were holding steady for days.
As Dr. Means talked in depth about on this podcast, consistent movement throughout the day is one of the best things you can do to maintain balanced blood glucose levels.
03. Stop Skipping Meals
I considered including this with skipping breakfast, but I realized it deserves its spot. I’ve been erratic in my eating times. Some days, I ate breakfast and skipped lunch, waiting until I got home to start eating, which made it difficult to stop. On other days, I’d skip lunch and breakfast, eating only one meal daily.
Even though it appeared, during the fast, that skipping meals was beneficial in regulating my blood sugar, it proved the opposite when I did break that fast. This could be because my intentions on fasting were never from health but always from neglect due to timing issues. But in any case, skipping meals made it impossible to prevent a spike, or four all in a row, regardless of what I ate.
Skipping meals or even a meal, unless it was my last meal of the day, was never beneficial to the longevity of my glucose levels. Consistent eating provided consistent and stable results.
04. Too much stress + poor sleep patterns
Alexa has long talked about the effects of stress inside the body. I know stress, or as she says, the perception of stress is a killer to my biology. But, like skipping meals, until you see it impacting your body, it’s hard to make such a stark connection.
Alexa found the downfall of stress in her results as well. But stress, even outside of meals, always caused a ten to twenty-point spike. That type of spike was similar to the spike I would see after eating a meal.
Who knew your blood glucose could spike without you eating a thing?
Sleep was also critical. On the days I didn’t sleep well, stress had even greater impacts on my glucose levels.
Ironically, my lack of sleep led to more stress, and stress led to skipping meals. This vicious cycle created my own downfall, leading me to re-evaluate my diet and lifestyle.
05. Knowing Your Numbers (Get Tested)
The most shocking result I experienced was my overall glucose average. To clarify, I did place the monitor on my lower abdomen. As Alexa found and shared in the podcast, she had significantly different results when placing the monitor on her lower abdomen than her upper arm. I want to assume that is the reason I had higher-than-normal averages.
My results from 30 days of monitoring showed I was sitting at pre-diabetic levels.
This prompted me to agree with Alexa that I should get further testing.
Levels have commented, even the co-founder Dr. Means said on this podcast with Alexa, that the monitors they use can be inaccurate to a degree. They are great at tracking trends but not as great at hard numbers.
When or if you’re in doubt, get further testing.
Should you try Levels?
I knew I wanted to try Levels. I just didn’t know how much I was going to enjoy it. I know a cost is associated, but the investment is worth the results. Seeing my results in real time has been one of the most motivating things I’ve ever done for my health.
I am currently in my “change months,” where I’m implementing the changes I learned were beneficial for my numbers. In a few months, I’ll put back on the monitors and see how my body has responded to the changes.
I would encourage you to try it out for yourself. You can learn more and sign up for your continuous glucose monitoring here.
You should also listen to the podcast where Alexa interviewed co-founder Dr. Casey Means. Listen to that here.
Take The 30-Day Continuous Glucose Monitoring Experiment.
Not many tools you can use that give you results in real time. Even blood work is a quick snapshot of the moment, not the long haul. But Levels has changed that. It provides continuous data, tracked every second and delivered right to your phone.
It shows real results in real time. You’ll get a picture of how your body responds as soon as you eat that meal. When you know, you can do something to shift it.
I recommend Levels for anyone interested in taking their health up a notch. Grab your Levels kit here.
**If you purchase a Levels device, shoot me an e-mail, and I would be happy to offer you e-mail support as you use it.