Steady glucose monitoring (CGM) expertise has revolutionized diabetes administration, offering real-time insights into blood sugar ranges for people with diabetes. Whereas CGMs have immense advantages for this particular inhabitants, the thought of utilizing them for weight reduction among the many basic public has turn out to be extra well-liked. This weblog critically examines the potential dangers and limitations of repurposing CGMs for weight reduction.
The muse of CGMs: Diabetes administration
Steady Glucose Monitoring (CGM) techniques are superior medical gadgets that monitor glucose ranges in real-time.They’re made up of a tiny sensor that’s inserted below the pores and skin to measure the quantity of glucose within the interstitial fluid. A receiver or smartphone receives knowledge from the sensor, which gives ongoing updates on blood sugar ranges. By offering a dynamic view of glucose swings, this expertise allows individuals with diabetes to make educated selections about their meals, insulin dosage, and total diabetes administration.
For diabetics, real-time blood sugar monitoring by means of CGMs provides exact and up-to-the-minute data on glucose ranges.This accuracy allows immediate actions to cease doubtlessly dangerous spikes or dips, enhancing glycemic management. Moreover, CGMs supply perception into how sure meals and way of life selections have an effect on blood sugar, enabling individualized therapy methods. Fast adjustments which can be detected early may also help stop extreme hypo- or hyperglycemia, thereby reducing the danger of issues from diabetes.
The connection between blood sugar and weight
The intricate relationship between blood sugar ranges and weight achieve reveals a fancy interaction that goes past easy caloric consumption.
Blood sugar rises after we eat proteins and carbs (and particularly, with carbs). This can be a utterly regular response, and never one we should always intention to keep away from. When blood sugar rises, the physique releases insulin to facilitate glucose uptake into cells. Once more, completely regular response, and most of us, particularly these of us with out diabetes, don’t need to micromanage and even fear about this bodily course of.
What we do usually wish to keep away from, is having giant blood glucose spikes all through the day. These are thought to result in an elevated threat for heart problems (though a weight loss plan that causes giant insulin spikes is probably going extremely refined, which can also be a threat issue for coronary heart illness).
For some individuals, consumption of enormous quantities of extremely refined carbohydrate meals can result in weight achieve, which is without doubt one of the main threat components for insulin resistance.
Insulin isn’t the evil monster that lots of social media personalities make it appear. The Carbohydrate Insulin Concept – which states that weight reduction cannot happen when insulin ranges are elevated (and due to this fact we should always all be consuming a low-carb weight loss plan) – is questionable. Each low carb and low calorie diets work for weight reduction once they’re sustained over the long-term, main many respected researchers to consider that it’s calorie stability, not insulin, that’s accountable for weight reduction.
Actually, the recent DIETFITS trial concluded that not solely do low-carb and low-fat diets produce comparable outcomes for weight reduction, however insulin ranges don’t impression weight reduction. Some interpretations argue that each teams had a discount in glycemic load which then led to weight reduction.
We do know, nonetheless, that ultra-processed, refined meals are metabolized faster and supply extra power aka energy to the physique over much less processed choices. Whereas I’d by no means suggest slicing ultra-processed meals out altogether, limiting them is one thing we should always all attempt in the direction of.
Each excessive and low blood sugar ranges wield a big affect over cravings, power ranges, and total consuming habits. When steep blood sugar spikes and crashes happen, notably after consuming sugary or refined carbohydrate-rich meals, the physique experiences a shift in power. This rollercoaster impact can result in heightened starvation, cravings, and an elevated chance of overeating.
These fluctuations in blood sugar ranges can instigate a vicious cycle of poor consuming habits. The hunt for fast power fixes by means of sugary snacks can result in additional blood sugar spikes and crashes, perpetuating unhealthy patterns. Because of this, fostering steady blood sugar ranges by means of balanced meals wealthy in advanced carbohydrates, fiber, protein, and wholesome fat turns into pivotal in curbing cravings, sustaining power, and selling total more healthy consuming habits.
Utilizing a CGM for weight reduction
The way forward for CGM expertise appears to be shifting to prospects within the realm of weight administration. Ongoing analysis is delving into extra intricate features of glucose fluctuations and their relationship with metabolism and weight.
Superior algorithms are being developed to reinforce the predictive capabilities of CGMs, providing people real-time insights into how totally different meals and actions impression their blood sugar ranges.
The present IRB examine with 50,000 contributors is accumulating knowledge CGM knowledge over 5 years to find out if the usage of CGMs may also help individuals with weight reduction, with a 1 12 months observe up interval. Each women and men 18 years and above are eligible for this examine together with different particular standards.
The estimated examine completion date is November 2027. This examine is taken into account a medical trial and it’s trying into the usage of CGM’s within the non-diabetic inhabitants to go with Signos cellular well being platform.
Major consequence measures embrace figuring out the common fasting glucose and the change in weight in variety of kilos. Secondary consequence measures embrace physique composition comparable to proportion of physique fats. One other secondary consequence measure is proportion of time spent in vary glucose ranges lower than 140.
Whereas the first objective of CGMs stays diabetes administration, their potential functions for weight administration are being explored. CGMs can present knowledge on how particular meals and dietary patterns have an effect on blood sugar ranges, providing a customized method to weight reduction. By understanding how sure meals trigger fast blood sugar spikes or crashes, people can make extra knowledgeable selections to stabilize their power ranges and scale back cravings.
Whereas it may be informative to see what results totally different meals have on our blood sugar personally, I truthfully don’t suppose non-diabetics want to make use of CGMs for weight reduction or total well being. Selecting extra entire and minimally processed meals, fewer sugary drinks and fewer alcohol, and being lively as a lot as doable are all fundamental steps to higher well being and weight reduction that many people haven’t but mastered.
When you don’t have the fundamentals down, a CGM isn’t going to magically allow you to.
CGM for Weight Loss: Potential Challenges and Issues
Because the idea of repurposing CGMs for weight reduction beneficial properties traction, it’s essential to handle the potential challenges and concerns related to this method. Whereas CGMs have confirmed immensely helpful in diabetes administration, their software to weight reduction calls for a cautious examination of the restrictions that may come up.
1. Overemphasis on Numbers Over Effectively-Being
One of many main issues when utilizing CGMs for weight reduction is the danger of fixating solely on blood sugar numbers, doubtlessly overshadowing the broader features of well being and well-being. Putting extreme significance on data-driven outcomes may result in a slim perspective of total wellness. A concentrate on glucose ranges might divert consideration from important components comparable to psychological well being, emotional well-being, and sustainable way of life habits.
2. Unrealistic Expectations and Fast Fixes
Whereas CGMs can present real-time insights, anticipating them to be a whole software for weight administration oversimplifies a fancy difficulty. Weight reduction encompasses multifaceted parts, together with dietary selections, bodily exercise, sleep, and stress administration. It must also embrace self-regulation and starvation and fullness cues, in addition to satisfaction and satiety from meals.
Relying solely on CGM knowledge may inadvertently promote the notion that weight reduction could be achieved by means of expertise alone, neglecting the significance of aim setting and long-term approaches. Elevated knowledge and consciousness isn’t sufficient to alter behaviour! CGMs aren’t the be all finish all of weight reduction and could be seen as unrealistic.
3. Disordered Consuming and Emotional Influence
The potential for CGMs to set off or exacerbate disordered consuming behaviors is a crucial concern. Fixed monitoring of blood sugar ranges may inadvertently encourage obsessive behaviors round meals consumption and train, contributing to an unhealthy preoccupation with numbers. Furthermore, the emotional toll of striving to take care of particular blood sugar ranges – particularly when not clinically related – can result in heightened stress and nervousness, doubtlessly compromising psychological well-being.
4. Potential for Misinterpretation and Misinformation
Deciphering CGM knowledge precisely requires an understanding of physiology and diet. With out correct steering from healthcare professionals, people may misread fluctuations in blood sugar ranges, resulting in pointless dietary restrictions or insufficient responses to real well being issues. Misinformation may simply unfold by means of on-line communities and social media, compounding potential dangers. Everybody isn’t skilled on utilizing CGMs, as they weren’t created for the larger public.
5. Value, if not coated by insurance coverage
This may turn out to be a really costly software to help in weight reduction ranging anyplace from $100-$300 per 30 days.
It’s additionally essential to notice that in some cases, utilizing a CGM once you aren’t diabetic could also be inflicting individuals who really want one to outlive, to lose some entry to those instruments.
Nutrisense is an organization that gives a complete app-based software for monitoring and analyzing how numerous components comparable to meals, sleep, train, and stress have an effect on glucose ranges. This software seems to be notably geared toward people with or with out diabetes who wish to achieve insights into their glucose responses all through the day with a purpose to shed extra pounds and higher their total well being.
Nutrisense io does work with dietitians. They’ve truly contacted me to collaborate, however I declined. Some dietitians consider that CGMs are helpful for individuals who don’t have diabetes. Once more, whereas I feel it may be attention-grabbing to see your private glucose response to totally different meals, I don’t suppose the outcomes are clinically related for almost all of non-diabetics.
The app makes use of Steady Glucose Monitoring expertise to supply real-time knowledge on glucose ranges, and it appears that evidently Nutrisense takes care of the CGM prescriptions for its members. Nonetheless, the service comes with a price, with subscription plans beginning at $299 per 30 days for a 3-month subscription or $225 per 30 days for a 12-month dedication. It’s price noting that Nutrisense isn’t coated by insurance coverage.
The Nutrisense app claims to show customers the way to eat in a greater manner and to begin making the appropriate meals selections that can assist to attain weight reduction objectives. This may all be carried out with out a CGM, however okay.
The sort of service may doubtlessly be worthwhile for people trying to higher perceive and handle their glucose ranges for well being functions, however once more, there’s actually no want for many of us to drill our well being all the way down to this stage.
CGM for weight reduction: On-line Claims
On-line diet claims have turn out to be more and more prevalent, usually promising fast fixes and outcomes by buying some kind of product.
Over on TikTok, for instance, some man named Klint claims he’s losing a few pounds from utilizing his CGM. Klint shares that after 2 weeks he has misplaced 30 kilos as a result of CGM. He makes use of the app to trace his glucose ranges based mostly on totally different patterns. When his glucose isn’t elevated, he claims to be in “weight reduction mode” and when he has small spikes it’s “wholesome consuming mode” after which a number of excessive spikes in glucose is “weight achieve”.
This kind of considering reveals an actual misunderstanding of how the physique works.
He mentions staying in storage mode causes weight achieve, and that he gained 3 kilos from a meal. Somebody wants to inform Klint that that 3 kilos isn’t fats.
When he eats “good,” he loses weight, and when he eats “dangerous,” he beneficial properties weight. He explains that consuming extra pure meals and fewer processed meals helped him lose the load.
Klint is making it appear to be the CGM is what’s making him shed extra pounds when in actuality, it’s in all probability the life-style adjustments he’s making to his weight loss plan.
It’s little question that CGMs have their objective within the diabetic world. Individuals trying particularly for weight reduction shouldn’t be relying solely on CGM expertise.
People ought to undertake a multifaceted method that integrates personalised diet, bodily exercise, mindfulness, and psychological well-being. Registered dietitians play a pivotal function in guiding people by means of this journey, offering evidence-based suggestions and fostering sensible expectations which can be particular to at least one’s wants and way of life.
The prospect of utilizing CGMs for weight reduction provides a glimpse right into a future the place expertise intersects with wellness. Nonetheless, navigating this path requires cautious consideration of potential challenges and moral dilemmas.
Whereas CGMs have revolutionized diabetes administration, their software to weight reduction calls for a cautious and complete method that values total well being and well-being above mere knowledge factors. Keep on with the fundamentals and be constant, as a substitute of leaning to CGMs to information weight reduction.