Why Does Eating Protein or Vegetables First Give You Better Weight Loss?

January 1, 2024

Today, we have an interesting take on blood sugar balance and weight loss: food sequencing! Does the order of the food you eat in a meal influence how much weight you can lose? Does eating vegetables and protein first before grain carbohydrates affect your blood sugar levels and insulin resistance? And can you make your own GLP-1 nutrient, which can assist with weight loss? Our dietitians tackle these questions plus give you tips on things to try at mealtimes, especially if weight loss is your goal in the new year.

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MELANIE: Welcome to Dishing Up Nutrition, brought to you by Nutritional Weight and Wellness, a show filled with sound nutritional advice, great recipes, and helpful conversation. It's hard to believe that we've been on myTalk every Saturday morning for the last 20 years bringing life changing real food nutrition.

That is a long time and we've loved the ride. As we continue to celebrate our 20-year anniversary of Dishing Up Nutrition, we have an announcement to share with you, our valued listeners. Starting in January, Dishing Up Nutrition will no longer be aired live on myTalk.

However, you can still hear the same life changing nutrition through our podcast like we've done the last 15 years. You can find Dishing Up Nutrition wherever you listen to podcasts, or right from our website, weightandwellness.com, under the podcast tab.

Find Our Podcasts Here!

We're thankful you've joined us on your Saturday mornings, and we hope you continue listening. My name is Melanie Beasley. I'm a Registered and Licensed Dietitian, who's been helping people with their nutritional needs for over 35 years.

I agree with Dr. Mark Hyman's belief that your food choices are the most healing medicine we can recommend. Of course, as a dietitian, I would put food on a pedestal, but Dr. Hyman, a functional medicine doctor, he also puts food on the pedestal of health. He even says food is the best factor or solution for anti-aging. That's exciting news. He is so focused on food and eating nutrient rich foods so that he can live, he wants to live to be 120 years old.


MELANIE: I know. Joining me as our cohost is Britni Vincent, who is a Registered and Licensed Dietitian in the state of Minnesota. Britni, let's start the show with some information we teach in many of our nutrition classes.

#1 cause of heart disease: inflammation of the blood vessels

BRITNI: Yeah. Great idea. I want to share what Dar and Bea James talked about on one of the first Dishing Up Nutrition episodes 20 years ago. 20 years ago, it was new information. And even today, some people still believe cholesterol is the leading cause of heart disease. The number one cause of heart disease in reality is not cholesterol. It is actually inflammation of the blood vessels.

MELANIE: Say that again.

BRITNI: Yeah, people need to hear this one a lot. So the number one cause of heart disease is not cholesterol. It is actually inflammation of the blood vessels. So as a listener, that might be totally new information for you because we've been really drilled upon the idea that…

MELANIE: 30 years at least.

BRITNI: Yeah, cholesterol is the cause of heart disease and that's just not true. So inflammation causes damage to the blood vessel lining, which can lead to blockage. So what can cause inflammation to the lining of the blood vessels and arteries? Of course, smoking, vaping, alcohol, you know, alcohol is especially damaging to women.

Other inflammatory foods: sugar, processed carbohydrates like cereal, granola bars, muffins, bagels. I mean, the list can go on and on. And I think of people going out for breakfast: fast food, egg sandwiches, waffles, pancakes, fancy coffee drinks with high fructose corn syrup. Of course, the staple dry cereal with skim milk and sometimes even some extra sugar sprinkled on top.

MELANIE: Of course.

BRITNI: Very inflammatory to the arteries.

MELANIE: So that's a whole list of what you should not be eating if you want to have low inflammation that results in damaged arteries. But when I was in dietetic school, I was told and I was taught to teach clients and patients to eat cereal with skim milk. So Britni, tell us, what are we recommending here at Nutritional Weight and Wellness?

BRITNI: I just want to say I was taught the same thing.

MELANIE: Yes. I feel like I need to write a letter of apology to all my previous patients.

Real food benefits the entire body

BRITNI: Yeah. So we are recommending real food, you know, the answer for the past 20 years on the radio show has always been real food. And the beauty of eating real food is it benefits your entire body. So it's not like you need a separate way of eating to prevent heart disease and a separate way of eating to improve your migraines. So, eating real food can help you to achieve all of your health and wellness goals.

MELANIE: I love that. That's, it's a very, it's really a very simple message that I think makes everyone feel like they can take a deep breath, like, oh, this isn't as complicated as I've been told. Which brings me to, I'm really excited about our topic today.

BRITNI: Yeah. Yeah. And as it relates to our topic today, I want to touch on, we've all seen in the news all about the different weight loss medications that are out there now. They are GLP-1 drugs. And the mechanism of how they work is they mimic the effects of glucagon-like peptide 1 to help with reducing blood sugar and helping with weight loss.

They can be extremely expensive, upwards to a thousand dollars a month, you know, some people get really, really bad side effects. And then if you stop, there is that potential to gain the weight back as well. So, I am here to tell you that we can make more of that GLP-1 naturally.

MELANIE: What's that GLP-1 stand for?

BRITNI: It stands for glucagon-like peptide 1, which is a mouthful, so we'll just say GLP-1. And in our topic today, we're going to be talking about blood sugar, and we've been talking for years about how combining foods, combining protein, carbohydrates, and fat together help to reduce and stabilize your blood sugar.

What is food sequencing & how can it affect blood sugar levels?

But today we're going to take it a step further and talk about food sequencing.

MELANIE: Yeah. Interesting. It's an interesting topic.

BRITNI: Mm hmm.

MELANIE: Who knew? I love the research on this. That brings us to the topic of the show today. Does the order of the food you eat in a meal influence how much weight you lose? Or, does eating vegetables and protein first before carbohydrates support weight loss? And, can you make your own GLP-1 nutrient?

Yes, to answer all those questions. Food sequencing, the order in which you eat your food, can affect blood sugar levels. Actually, the correct order for eating the best glucose control and less insulin resistance is to eat high fiber vegetables, then fats and protein.

And lastly, we want to eat those starchy carbohydrates, root vegetables and fruit that spike blood sugar at the very end of your meal. If you're having that occasional dessert for a special occasion, don't wait. This is what my clients will say. They'll say, well, I wait until I have room and then I eat the dessert later. And I say, if you're going to have a dessert on the occasion, you want to have it right after your meal for two reasons.

One, you're not going to eat so much of the meal to save room. And two, that dessert is a little bit buffered, not a hundred percent, but a little bit buffered by the protein and the vegetables and the fat that you had prior.

BRITNI: Yeah. Really good advice.

MELANIE: So, that's what we usually recommend. And the high fiber vegetables, fat, and protein, what they do is they slow down your digestion of the simple sugars and carbs so that blood glucose levels don't spike as high.

Now, it depends on how big the dessert is and it depends on how big the potato is. But if you're following, you know, a small portion, you're going to get a better glucose result than if you were just eating it on an empty stomach. We're ready for our first break.

Thank you for listening to Dishing Up Nutrition. If you are wanting and needing to get back on track with your nutrition, we have just the class series for you. Starting January 7th, our Nutrition for Weight Loss Foundation classes will be offered in person at all of our six locations. And we will have several Zoom times as well. Make the decision now and save your space. Call 651-699-3438 or online at weightandwellness.com. We'll be right back.


BRITNI: Welcome back. Since I have been eating in balance eating protein, carbohydrates and fat and keeping my blood sugar balanced, I have so much more energy. The cravings are gone. I just generally feel so much better. And again, that goes back to real food and eating in balance.

So simple, but truly life changing. And you can learn more about that yourself by taking the Nutrition for Weight Loss series. And the Nutrition for Weight Loss Foundation classes will be starting again in January. So if you are interested, check out our website, weightandwellness.com. Or if you would like to talk to somebody about this, call 651-699-3438.

Sign Up for Nutrition 4 Weight Loss Foundations

So before break, we were talking about not only combining protein, carb, and fat together to help blood sugar, but sequencing them. So eating those vegetables, and then fat and protein, and lastly, the more concentrated carbohydrates, the starches, grains, wild rice, root vegetables, fruit, yeah, all of that. So that can help your blood sugar even more.

So that fiber from the vegetables helps to slow down the digestion of the carbohydrates. And fiber itself has so many other benefits. I mean, it helps keep us more satiated, helps our gut health. So really…

MELANIE: Scrubs our colon.


MELANIE: So toothbrush for our colon.

BRITNI: Yeah. That's a great way to think about, think about it. So increasing that fiber and, and again, having it before a meal when you can, can be so helpful.


BRITNI: And, and it can curb that appetite for the meal too.

MELANIE: And I always like my clients to start with the vegetables anyway. Because it's too easy to jump into the starch and the meat and you're filled up and you don't have room for those powerhouse vegetables that are so critical for our health.

BRITNI: Yeah. That's a really good point. I have definitely heard that before from my clients.

MELANIE: And when you start with the fat on the vegetables to make them taste delicious, then you're getting both, right?


MELANIE: The fat and the vegetables. One full swing, one delicious bite.

BRITNI: So delicious. And if you have a glucometer yourself or a continuous glucose monitor, you can test this yourself. I think that gathering this data and learning more about your own body is, is so powerful and can really drive a lot of behavior change just by knowing what works for your body.

So do a little experiment, you know, one meal, first eat that starch, that concentrated carbohydrate, whether that be potatoes or a grain or fruit or a root vegetable, then eat your protein, fat, then lastly eat your salad or your vegetables. Check your blood sugar before that meal, after that meal. Generally, we get the largest spike an hour after you eat.


BRITNI: By three hours after that meal, it really should be back to baseline to where it was before you ate.

MELANIE: Yeah. That's good.

BRITNI: Everybody varies a little bit, but that's typically the pattern. So checking it before, an hour after, if you can. Three hours after you can, you're going to really see how that meal affects you.


BRITNI: Then eat the same meal, but swap the order.

MELANIE: Maybe the next day.

BRITNI: Yes. Do it the next day. Because if your blood sugar spikes from this meal, that can affect your blood sugar even later on that day.

MELANIE: Yeah. Yeah. The entire day is disrupted.

BRITNI: Yeah. Yeah. Absolutely. So good point. The next day, swap the order, eat that meal. But do the salad or the vegetables first, then the avocado or mayo, then the protein, whether that's chicken or tuna, then lastly, those concentrated carbohydrates, that potato or wild rice or fruit, whatever it might be.

MELANIE: So you want to stick with the same meal in the same volume, in the same order, or reverse the order. Yes, yes.

BRITNI: Yep. So it, the only thing that's changing is the order. It's like a controlled experiment for your own body. And then again, see that difference in your blood sugar. And it's really fascinating.

MELANIE: Well, especially for nutrition nerds like us. We find it fascinating. I really love my clients who have continuous glucose monitors to do this.

BRITNI: Yeah. Makes it easier. So basically, if you eat a salad rather than that something from the bread basket before a meal, your blood sugar level will be better by having those vegetables first. And then you're going to prevent the cravings, the fatigue from that bread basket.

Think about it listeners. Have you noticed that you crave more carbohydrates if you start that meal with something more processed, more carbohydrate heavy like that, that bread or the rolls? I think we can all agree that yes. And then maybe you throw in the wine on top of it.

MELANIE: And the next day you're wondering, why am I craving sweets and sugar and bread? It sets you up for a two day craving.

BRITNI: Without a doubt. Up goes your blood sugar and then your body is outputting more insulin to carry that glucose into the cells, turn it into energy.

MELANIE: Or fat.

BRITNI: Yeah. And then when we're doing that too often, then we're just creating more fat.

MELANIE: Fat storage.

Insulin’s role in weight gain & inflammation

BRITNI: Yep. And in regard to weight gain, a lot of it really does go back to blood sugar and insulin; how much insulin your body is having to produce. And it also plays a huge role in overall inflammation, going back to heart disease, joint pain, high blood pressure. So many things can go back to blood sugar.

MELANIE: You know, it, it brings to mind a client of mine who loved her popcorn. And we were, she was diabetic, so we were working on that. So her beloved popcorn had to go. She said, I, one, it was after three or four months, she was doing really great. I said, I always ask, what do you miss? She said, my popcorn. Do you really think it makes that big of a difference?

And she had a glucometer. So I said, let's do it. Let's, you have your popcorn, at least do it after a meal. But have your popcorn and let's see what happens. So she did not have it after a meal. She just made a big vat of popcorn, but she buttered it thinking that would help it be balanced. She ate her popcorn.

Her blood sugar, of course, it did in a huge spike. It took a while to come down. But more importantly, the next day, her joints hurt so badly. She said, I could hardly walk for three or four days and she said, my popcorn betrayed me. So it's more than even the blood sugar spike, but that is also a very stressful event for the body that when we are elevating our blood sugar rapidly, and then later it crashes, this is stressful. Circling back to that inflammation that's caused in the body that in turn causes high cholesterol and heart disease.

BRITNI: Yeah. It's all related.

MELANIE: So it's a win win when we pay attention to these. Now this, this is kind of important to pay attention to most of the time. Well, a research study published in the Diabetic Care journal stated eating in the correct order could help control blood sugar and produce more glucagon and GLP-1. Eating high fiber vegetables like broccoli with butter, then your protein, and then eating concentrated or your starchy carbohydrates last could help you lower your glucose numbers and your A1C.

If you eat a big salad with a variety of vegetables, lots of fiber, some olive oil and vinegar, you may find it to be a good way to control your blood sugar and reduce insulin resistance so you can lose weight. Because again, fiber from the vegetables slows down your digestion and absorption of sugar. And slows the rise in blood glucose.

So I always encourage my clients, if you go to a restaurant and they bring bread popovers to the table, always order a salad. So while everyone is digging in, you're digging in too. And then you can sort of calm down and say, how important is that bread basket after you've had your salad?

A lot of times clients are like, I'm fine, I don't need to dive into the bread basket anymore. But I always tell them, order a clear brothy vegetable soup or order a vegetable salad that you're eating while everyone else is indulging in breadsticks, crackers, and bread baskets.

BRITNI: Or chips and salsa.

MELANIE: Or chips and salsa. That's like that basket just empties magically. Well, we're ready for our second break. As a host on Dishing Up Nutrition, I so enjoy bringing you life-changing information. It may surprise you, as a registered dietitian, I have struggled with my own health issues, and it's not a secret in my past.

Long before I joined NWW, I had breast cancer. Today I'm completely committed to the real food message that Dar Kvist started over 25 years ago, because I'm happy to say I continue to be cancer free, which I firmly believe is largely due to the healing properties of eating real food.

So this is my message to all of you: please eat real food for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. In our Nutrition for Weight Loss classes, we teach our clients how to eat this way. We'll be right back.


BRITNI: Welcome back to Dishing Up Nutrition. We have been talking about the benefit of meal sequencing and that can help with weight loss and in keeping your blood sugars even more stable. And we also were talking about earlier the GLP-1 and how the new weight loss medications work by mimicking this GLP-1.

How can we naturally increase GLP-1?

But, guess what? You can increase it yourself by just the food that you eat. So, the first step is eating and balancing and starting with vegetables, getting that fiber in. The protein is crucial to helping to make more of this GLP-1. And then make sure to include that healthy fat and your blood sugar numbers are going to be even more stable. And when you eat that sufficient protein, that allows your body to produce even more of that GLP-1.

MELANIE: So we're talking about four to five ounces at a meal of protein, cooked protein. So a steak. A handful of peanuts is not the protein we're talking about.

BRITNI: Great point.

MELANIE: Yeah. So we're talking about animal protein. And when we use say sufficient, a lot of times, especially my female clients, they'll toss about two ounces of tuna or chicken or shrimp on a salad and think, oh, I got my protein. And I encourage you listeners to weigh out your cooked protein. How much are you actually getting?

The older we get, the more protein we need. So measure out four to five ounces. And then the benefit of making the GLP-1 is that's just icing on the proverbial cake. Can I say that? Cake?

BRITNI: Among, yeah, so many other benefits of eating that protein, and I like that you brought up the point, as we age, our needs are actually higher for that protein, and it's really often the opposite. As people age, they eat less and less protein, and then their muscles just break down even more.

MELANIE: And it's really important for energy, metabolic health, muscle, not to lose muscle, keep your skin in good shape, adequate hair, make hormones. It plays so many roles, cellular health, and the benefit of all of it is so intricate. But my clients, when I really increase their protein, wow, they're satisfied, they're satiated, they're energized. And sometimes getting enough protein feels like a job when you first start out.

BRITNI: Yeah. Yeah. I mean, myself, I need to be very mindful about how I'm going to actually do that. But it's worth it.

MELANIE: I think it was Teresa, one of our nutritionists, she was talking about how that's her job. And I thought, that's exactly how I feel sometimes is getting enough protein. So, you know, we got to start with breakfast and starting with breakfast today, I mean, I started with one of our muffins off the website and then I had a couple eggs.

And then my snack, I had a protein shake with additional protein in there. And then lunch, I had four ounces of hamburger and chili. So it's a lot easier when we start out with a protein meal and if you're starting out with a muffin or a yogurt, I encourage you to track your protein. You can download the app Cronometer for free or any of the tracking and just see where you are.

But if you're trying to lose weight, this sequencing is critical, but it's not a replacement for making sure you're getting enough vegetables, enough protein, enough healthy fat, and then a small amount of those concentrated carbohydrates like potatoes and root vegetables and fruit. But put those at the end, but also watch the volume.

BRITNI: Yes. Yeah. I'm so glad you brought that up. So this does not mean that if you eat a salad before you eat a big bowl of ice cream, which would be a strange combination, but if you did that.

MELANIE: I’m sure it's been done.

BRITNI: I'm sure it has. It's not going to completely offset that big blood sugar spike from the ice cream. So this is just optimizing what you're already doing by eating real food in balance.

MELANIE: And watching the portions on those concentrated carbohydrates, which is the root vegetables, grains, and fruits.

BRITNI: We still recommend for most people, half a cup cooked for those.



MELANIE: But when, if you're somebody out there who's really struggling, like Britni said, the optimization of your sequencing food is going to benefit. And those small gains are a big deal if you're coming from some place of having an A1C that is elevated, maybe six or higher. Every little bit helps. We want to get that down before it does cause the inflammation, before it does begin to cause disease.

BRITNI: Yeah. And I don't want this to stress people out even more, to feel like they have to do this every single meal of the day. Just do it when you can, when it makes sense. What are some practical ideas of how we could incorporate this?

Practical ideas of how to incorporate food sequencing

MELANIE: When you said that about I don't want to stress out, I have clients that will come to me and they're like, what about soup?

BRITNI: Yeah. Yeah.

MELANIE: It's all in there together. Should I be plucking out the vegetables first and the protein? No. Enjoy your soup. But maybe start with a salad.


MELANIE: Or a stew or a bowl of chili or a casserole or that gets the muddied, muddies the water. This is not to stress you out. This is just information to maybe have some gains in your goals that you're trying to accomplish.

BRITNI: Exactly.

MELANIE: And like you said, I love that you said it's not foolproof when it comes to, now can I have a big bowl of oatmeal after I've started my breakfast with a salad and some eggs? No.

BRITNI: Sometimes while I'm still dishing up dinner, I'll have some vegetables that I give the kids while they're waiting. And we could all do that. Just, it's easy to have some raw vegetables always in your fridge. If you don't throw together a salad, maybe you love the mini peppers or cucumbers. Snack on a little bit of that before you dive into the meal. That could be another way to, to go about it.

MELANIE: And I love the salad bar plan. So when I have young mothers and they're trying to figure out how to keep the kids out of the pantry that are trying to grab crackers because they're hungry and it's stressful. It's stressful for mothers or grandmothers or daycare helpers. So I tell them do the salad bar and the salad bar is you put out anything you want to use up. It might be leftover meat. It might be sunflower seeds, it might be almonds, it might be any nibbles and bits of vegetables that you have. And put out your lettuce and put out your dressing.

Now the rule is you have to pick three things that's not lettuce or dressing to put on your salad. It keeps the kids so busy deciding and creating. They can't say I'm starving, I just need some crackers because you've got food out there. You feel pretty righteous about what you're feeding your children and you're using up your leftovers.

BRITNI: Great idea. Really good idea.

MELANIE: So just to keep them so you can focus on cooking and keep them occupied is a huge win.

BRITNI: Yes, it is.

Blood sugar balance is critical for many aspects of our health

MELANIE: Well really, weight loss, health, both physical and mental, plus energy, positive moods, and good memory, they all go back to good blood sugar balance and avoiding insulin resistance so that our liver, kidneys, heart, brain, bone, nervous system continues to function optimally in our sixties, in our seventies, in our eighties and nineties, and Dr. Mark Hyman: 120.

That's the goal here is we are trying to optimize health and nutrition with little tips that you can do. Well as we move into 2024, Dishing Up Nutrition will experience some changes. After 20 years of coming to you live on myTalk, we will continue to write, produce and present life changing nutrition information in weekly podcasts that you can listen to at your convenience.

We're not going away. We are just changing our delivery van to life easily accessible, changing podcasts. We will continue to have the same real food message and your health in our thoughts and information we share. We'll be right back.


BRITNI:As all of us prepare for 2024, our takeaway message is for you to continue to eat real food, real protein from animal sources; purchasing organic when you can, grass fed beef, free range, pasture raised chicken, turkey, eggs, wild caught fish.

And then eat a variety of real vegetables. And then healthy fats. Don't forget to incorporate those healthy fats. Not only are they delicious, but they really help to stabilize your blood sugar among many other benefits. So that could be butter, olive oil, avocado oil, coconut oil, and then try to avoid those refined oils like vegetable oil, canola, cottonseed, soybean oil, and water should be your beverage of choice.


BRITNI: Should be really the bulk of the fluids that you're drinking.

MELANIE: Good filtered water.


MELANIE: Filter out that chlorine.

BRITNI: Every day, your bones, your brain, your joints, your heart, your lungs, your kidneys, and your nervous system will say thank you for all of these great choices that you're making for your body. And we want to say thank you for listening these past 20 years. We really appreciate it.

And I also want to mention for those of you who've maybe never listened to this show as a podcast, we also have a midweek podcast that is called “Ask a Nutritionist” and that comes out on Thursdays. And those are a totally different format. It's all about a question that one of our listeners has provided with us. So they range about 10 to 20 minutes long.

Find All of Our Podcasts Here

MELANIE: Little snippets of good nutrition information.


MELANIE: And it might be something you have never heard before. We've got some of the nutritionists doing them all the time and I'm learning.


MELANIE: Listening. There's always something we can learn. But I encourage our listeners, if you have never gone to our website and you're one of our loyal listeners, please go to our website, click on podcasts. And just dig around and see what's out there for you. And we want to keep you as listeners. I love when I get clients and they say, I've been listening for 10 years, I finally decided to make an appointment for me.

We don't want to lose those people. We want those people to continue to gain this valuable information. And it's easy because then you can listen whenever it works for you. Maybe it works for you to go on our website on Saturday morning.

BRITNI: Yeah. Same time.

MELANIE: Like you've always done. Click on it while you're getting your Saturday walk in, or maybe it doesn't work for you and you click on it on your drive to and from work. Nothing better than learning while you're stuck in traffic versus just being angry.

BRITNI: Very good point. Very good point. And then our podcasts are transcribed on our website. So I know I've done this with podcasts. It's like, what did they say? Oh, let me listen again. Well, you can always…

MELANIE: Read it.

BRITNI: Check the transcription.

MELANIE: I love that. Or print it.


MELANIE: If you want to take, if you prefer to read rather than listen. I prefer to listen always.


MELANIE: It's so nice to hear the voices. It's like family.

BRITNI: Mm hmm.

MELANIE: You know, when you've got a podcast you've been listening to for a while.

BRITNI: It is true.

MELANIE: It's like you're checking in with family.


Client success example using food sequencing

MELANIE: So I love that. Well, I want to talk about a client of mine I tried to get to give up the big bowl of oatmeal. So we did this challenge and we cut her oatmeal down so she wasn't eating the two cups in the morning because her blood sugars were terrible and her A1C was 7.8.

But we as Americans, we grew up on oatmeal. We love our oatmeal, but it doesn't love us always. We got her down to where she was willing to do a half a cup, cooked oatmeal, half a cup. But she added fiber, nuts, she put some ground flax in it, she added nuts instead of her berries. She put a pat of good butter in there.

She did not sweeten it with anything other than a monk fruit sweetener, which she found a brown sugar monk fruit sweetener. So she flavored it with that and I encouraged her to start with, she likes sugar snap peas. So, she started with sugar snap peas and then she would eat her oatmeal and hard boiled eggs.

So, she had a couple hard boiled eggs, her sugar snap peas, and then also her oatmeal and she was able to keep her blood sugar from spiking. She had to play with how much fat and fiber and nuts she put in there, but just tweaking that she could still have that beloved oatmeal that I was trying to kick to the curb.

But she was insistent, and I was really proud of her, how she played with it. And so I don't think everybody responds exactly the same. We're all individuals.

BRITNI: Oh, absolutely.

MELANIE: But for her, it was the quality of something she adored.


MELANIE: And so she started with vegetables and eggs, and then she had her half cup of oatmeal, so she still got that flavor, and it worked for her.

BRITNI: That's wonderful. Such a good example.

MELANIE: Yeah. So sequencing.

BRITNI: And that brings up such a valuable point. We are all different. I mean, I have had many, many clients use glucometers or they have a continuous glucose monitor and what might spike one person may not spike another person. And so it does take a little playing around with just thinking of it as experiments. And then it's great when you figure out how to make that work.

Movement after a meal helps manage blood sugar

MELANIE: Mm hmm. You know, speaking of sequencing, another thing that you can add to your sequence if you're somebody struggling with your A1C or your blood sugars is a 10 minute movement exercise after your meal. So start with a sequencing like we said: vegetables, fat, protein, and then maybe your concentrated carb.

And if your blood sugar spikes. You can bring that down significantly by moving your body. Maybe you vacuum a room. Maybe you go for a walk if you've got a furry friend. Maybe you turn on YouTube and you dance around. It doesn't have to be anything fancy, but movement rather than… we like to just sit after a meal.

BRITNI: Yeah, we do.

MELANIE: That sequence added to the sequencing that Britni and I are talking about today can be very beneficial overall as well.

BRITNI: Oh, I have absolutely seen people that are tracking their blood sugars, and again we do these experiments. And they add movement and I've seen it movement after dinner helps that morning blood sugar, again, seeing that data, that's great.

And basically what's happening is that movement is helping your body to bring the glucose into the cells efficiently, bringing down your overall glucose, helping to prevent fat storage, inflammation. So when you're able to great, and like you said, it doesn't have to be exercise, per se, could be dancing or vacuuming.

MELANIE: Anything.

BRITNI: Get your vacuuming done.

MELANIE: Get your vacuuming done. Or maybe you wrestle with your children. Anything that is movement is going to, because it sounds counterintuitive when we say you want to usher the blood sugar in. What we're doing is we're pulling it out of the bloodstream. That's what you measure when you do a glucometer.

That's what a continuous glucose monitor is looking at. What's floating in your bloodstream causing damage? We want to get it out of there and into the cell to create energy for you.

Meal planning is critical

BRITNI: Great. So thinking about the big picture of meal sequencing, we're suggesting to add possibly even more vegetables than you're already eating. So to be able to do that, I think that really goes back to dialing in your meal planning.

MELANIE: You've got to plan and people are busy.

BRITNI: Oh, so busy.

MELANIE: Are we not busy out there, listeners? We are busy. And so if we don't plan, we don't succeed in anything: your job, parenting.

BRITNI: and I think it comes back to just deciding to make it a priority and then you find time to do it.

MELANIE: So you're saying make yourself a priority. You deserve health and wellness.

BRITNI: Yeah, absolutely. And then it makes for such a less stressful week when you know what you're eating, you have some things prepared, and I have the same schedule every week that I do.

MELANIE: What do you do?

BRITNI: I generally cook Sunday nights, Mondays, and usually Tuesday or Wednesday, or my husband does one of those days. And then breakfast is easy to make on the fly. And then we have leftovers for other dinners and lunches, and then it's become habitual for me. Those are the days that I cook, and that's what works for me. And then I think of it as it's a little bit of a stress reliever to put on some music I like or a podcast and knowing that you're doing some great self care for yourself too.

MELANIE: So important, that self care.

BRITNI: Thank you for listening the past 20 years. Please join us by podcast for the next 20 years. We all feel blessed to have you as part of our nutrition community. Please be well.

MELANIE: Our goal at Nutritional Weight and Wellness is to help each and every person experience better health through eating real food. It's a simple yet powerful message. Eating real food is life changing. Thank you for joining us today.

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