Steady glucose monitoring (CGM) know-how 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 concept of utilizing them for weight reduction among the many basic public has change into extra common. This weblog critically examines the potential dangers and limitations of repurposing CGMs for weight reduction.
The inspiration of CGMs: Diabetes administration
Steady Glucose Monitoring (CGM) techniques are superior medical units that monitor glucose ranges in real-time.They’re made up of a tiny sensor that’s inserted underneath the pores and skin to measure the quantity of glucose within the interstitial fluid. A receiver or smartphone receives information from the sensor, which offers ongoing updates on blood sugar ranges. By offering a dynamic view of glucose swings, this know-how permits folks with diabetes to make educated selections about their meals, insulin dosage, and general diabetes administration.
For diabetics, real-time blood sugar monitoring by CGMs presents exact and up-to-the-minute info on glucose ranges.This accuracy permits immediate actions to cease probably dangerous spikes or dips, enhancing glycemic management. Moreover, CGMs supply perception into how sure meals and way of life decisions have an effect on blood sugar, enabling individualized remedy methods. Fast modifications which can be detected early can assist stop extreme hypo- or hyperglycemia, thereby decreasing the danger of problems from diabetes.
The connection between blood sugar and weight
The intricate relationship between blood sugar ranges and weight acquire reveals a posh interaction that goes past easy caloric consumption.
Blood sugar rises after we eat proteins and carbs (and specifically, with carbs). This can be a utterly regular response, and never one we must 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 typically need to keep away from, is having giant blood glucose spikes all through the day. These are thought to result in an elevated danger for heart problems (though a weight loss plan that causes giant insulin spikes is probably going extremely refined, which can also be a danger issue for coronary heart illness).
For some folks, consumption of enormous quantities of extremely refined carbohydrate meals can result in weight acquire, which is without doubt one of the major danger components for insulin resistance.
Insulin will not be the evil monster that a variety of social media personalities make it appear. The Carbohydrate Insulin Principle – which states that weight reduction cannot happen when insulin ranges are elevated (and subsequently we must 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 imagine that it’s calorie steadiness, not insulin, that’s answerable for weight reduction.
In truth, the recent DIETFITS trial concluded that not solely do low-carb and low-fat diets produce related outcomes for weight reduction, however insulin ranges don’t affect 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 vitality aka energy to the physique over much less processed choices. Whereas I’d by no means advocate slicing ultra-processed meals out altogether, limiting them is one thing we must always all attempt in direction of.
Each excessive and low blood sugar ranges wield a big affect over cravings, vitality ranges, and general consuming habits. When steep blood sugar spikes and crashes happen, significantly after consuming sugary or refined carbohydrate-rich meals, the physique experiences a shift in vitality. 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 vitality fixes by sugary snacks can result in additional blood sugar spikes and crashes, perpetuating unhealthy patterns. Because of this, fostering secure blood sugar ranges by balanced meals wealthy in advanced carbohydrates, fiber, protein, and wholesome fat turns into pivotal in curbing cravings, sustaining vitality, and selling general more healthy consuming habits.
Utilizing a CGM for weight reduction
The way forward for CGM know-how appears to be shifting to prospects within the realm of weight administration. Ongoing analysis is delving into extra intricate points 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 completely different meals and actions affect their blood sugar ranges.
The present IRB examine with 50,000 contributors is accumulating information CGM information over 5 years to find out if using CGMs can assist folks 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 scientific trial and it’s trying into using CGM’s within the non-diabetic inhabitants to go with Signos cell well being platform.
Main consequence measures embrace figuring out the typical fasting glucose and the change in weight in variety of kilos. Secondary consequence measures embrace physique composition corresponding to share of physique fats. One other secondary consequence measure is share of time spent in vary glucose ranges lower than 140.
Whereas the first goal of CGMs stays diabetes administration, their potential functions for weight administration are being explored. CGMs can present information on how particular meals and dietary patterns have an effect on blood sugar ranges, providing a personalised strategy to weight reduction. By understanding how sure meals trigger speedy blood sugar spikes or crashes, people can make extra knowledgeable decisions to stabilize their vitality ranges and scale back cravings.
Whereas it may be informative to see what results completely different meals have on our blood sugar personally, I truthfully don’t assume non-diabetics want to make use of CGMs for weight reduction or general well being. Selecting extra complete and minimally processed meals, fewer sugary drinks and fewer alcohol, and being energetic as a lot as attainable are all fundamental steps to raised well being and weight reduction that many people haven’t but mastered.
Should you don’t have the fundamentals down, a CGM isn’t going to magically assist you.
CGM for Weight Loss: Potential Challenges and Concerns
Because the idea of repurposing CGMs for weight reduction beneficial properties traction, it’s essential to handle the potential challenges and issues related to this strategy. Whereas CGMs have confirmed immensely helpful in diabetes administration, their utility 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 major considerations when utilizing CGMs for weight reduction is the danger of fixating solely on blood sugar numbers, probably overshadowing the broader points of well being and well-being. Inserting extreme significance on data-driven outcomes would possibly result in a slim perspective of general wellness. A deal with glucose ranges might divert consideration from important components corresponding 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 posh difficulty. Weight reduction encompasses multifaceted parts, together with dietary decisions, bodily exercise, sleep, and stress administration. It also needs to embrace self-regulation and starvation and fullness cues, in addition to satisfaction and satiety from meals.
Relying solely on CGM information would possibly inadvertently promote the notion that weight reduction will be achieved by know-how alone, neglecting the significance of objective setting and long-term approaches. Elevated information and consciousness will not be sufficient to vary behaviour! CGMs usually are not the be all finish all of weight reduction and will be seen as unrealistic.
3. Disordered Consuming and Emotional Influence
The potential for CGMs to set off or exacerbate disordered consuming behaviors is a vital concern. Fixed monitoring of blood sugar ranges would possibly 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 anxiousness, probably compromising psychological well-being.
4. Potential for Misinterpretation and Misinformation
Deciphering CGM information precisely requires an understanding of physiology and vitamin. With out correct steering from healthcare professionals, people would possibly misread fluctuations in blood sugar ranges, resulting in pointless dietary restrictions or insufficient responses to real well being considerations. Misinformation may simply unfold by on-line communities and social media, compounding potential dangers. Everybody will not be skilled on utilizing CGMs, as they weren’t created for the higher public.
5. Price, if not lined by insurance coverage
This will change into a really costly software to help in weight reduction ranging anyplace from $100-$300 monthly.
It’s additionally vital to notice that in some cases, utilizing a CGM if you aren’t diabetic could also be inflicting individuals who really need one to outlive, to lose some entry to those instruments.
Nutrisense is an organization that provides a complete app-based software for monitoring and analyzing how numerous components corresponding to meals, sleep, train, and stress have an effect on glucose ranges. This software seems to be significantly geared toward people with or with out diabetes who need to acquire insights into their glucose responses all through the day so as to shed weight and higher their general well being.
Nutrisense io does work with dietitians. They’ve truly contacted me to collaborate, however I declined. Some dietitians imagine that CGMs are helpful for individuals who don’t have diabetes. Once more, whereas I believe it may be fascinating to see your private glucose response to completely different meals, I don’t assume the outcomes are clinically related for almost all of non-diabetics.
The app makes use of Steady Glucose Monitoring know-how to supply real-time information on glucose ranges, and plainly Nutrisense takes care of the CGM prescriptions for its members. Nevertheless, the service comes with a price, with subscription plans beginning at $299 monthly for a 3-month subscription or $225 monthly for a 12-month dedication. It’s value noting that Nutrisense will not be lined by insurance coverage.
The Nutrisense app claims to show customers the right way to eat in a greater means and to start out making the proper meals decisions that can assist to realize weight reduction objectives. This will all be finished and not using a CGM, however okay.
The sort of service may probably be precious for people seeking 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 right down to this stage.
CGM for weight reduction: On-line Claims
On-line vitamin claims have change into more and more prevalent, usually promising fast fixes and outcomes by buying some form 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 completely different patterns. When his glucose will not be 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 acquire”.
This form of considering reveals an actual misunderstanding of how the physique works.
He mentions staying in storage mode causes weight acquire, 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 burden.
Klint is making it look like the CGM is what’s making him shed weight when in actuality, it’s in all probability the life-style modifications he’s making to his weight loss plan.
It’s little doubt that CGMs have their goal within the diabetic world. Individuals trying particularly for weight reduction shouldn’t be relying solely on CGM know-how.
People ought to undertake a multifaceted strategy that integrates customized vitamin, bodily exercise, mindfulness, and psychological well-being. Registered dietitians play a pivotal function in guiding people by this journey, offering evidence-based suggestions and fostering real looking expectations which can be particular to at least one’s wants and way of life.
The prospect of utilizing CGMs for weight reduction presents a glimpse right into a future the place know-how intersects with wellness. Nevertheless, navigating this path requires cautious consideration of potential challenges and moral dilemmas.
Whereas CGMs have revolutionized diabetes administration, their utility to weight reduction calls for a cautious and complete strategy that values general well being and well-being above mere information factors. Persist with the fundamentals and be constant, as an alternative of leaning to CGMs to information weight reduction.