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Kate Brown on How Using a CGM Helped Her with Steady Weight Loss

Kate Brown on How Using a CGM Helped Her with Steady Weight Loss
"Because of all these lifestyle changes [I've made], I'm noticing steady weight loss . . . I'm going in the right direction on the scale now."
Kate Brown on How Using a CGM Helped Her with Steady Weight Loss

Hi Kate! We’d love to know more about you and how you found Nutrisense.

I’m in my thirties, and I’m a therapist—I’ve been a mental health counselor for 11 years.

In 2017, I was diagnosed with what is technically prediabetes. And, of course, that sent me on a search to figure out how to manage and reverse the condition.

Diabetes runs in my family, so I've seen it run its course, and I didn't want that for myself. I stumbled across some doctors who focused on full-body movements. And exercise is good, of course, but I was still looking for a more reliable, consistent way to reduce those numbers.

Since then, I have brought my numbers down, and now I have to just stay on top of it. But during the pandemic, I also gained a lot of weight. And so that was why I was looking for other alternatives to help me on my health journey.

I follow Dr. Sara Gottfried on Instagram. And I was listening to Glucose Goddess’ book, which I enjoyed. And then I started seeing the continuous glucose monitor everywhere! I thought they looked interesting, so I signed up for the three-month CGM Program with Nutrisense.

And with the family history, you probably already know how to read and understand the data when you put on the CGM, right?

Yeah. I had a diagnosis, so I had to! And I used the fingerstick initially, so I had been tracking my glucose for five years. But with the CGM, it was just so much better. And it gave me a better set of data too.

It was good being able to see the data in real-time, so I could track certain times of day when those numbers were going up or down.

You mention also focusing on your weight a bit. Would you say you also had weight management goals with the CGM?

Yeah. I was trying to take off the weight I had put on during the pandemic. And I could tell that my body just wasn't working very well. I was, I think, having a lot of symptoms of inflammation, like swollen, painful joints, brain fog, and constant fatigue.

And we're also a military family. Since my husband was deployed when I signed up for Nutrisense’s CGM Program, I think there was a lot of general life stress too. That was interesting to see.

Seeing your levels change in real-time because of that stress must have been eye-opening…

Yeah absolutely. And my sleep was interrupted at the beginning of the program too. Because on top of having two little boys who were missing their daddy, we had a mouse problem at the house in January!

And they are nocturnal, obnoxious little creatures—they kept me awake all night long. And it was so interesting to see how every little change in my lifestyle or routine impacted my glucose levels weekly.

So with all this data, did you find that you were now instinctively making changes?

Yes, and I think the most significant changes came in little ways. I stopped snacking after dinner, and I stopped drinking alcohol.

Not necessarily because of what it was doing to my blood sugar, but because I knew alcohol was inflammatory, and I had so many symptoms of high inflammation. That meant I wasn't drinking before bed, helping my morning glucose numbers.

And those changes have stuck. And then using the Glucose Goddess hacks, too, like always having a veggie starter, eating food in the right order, and trying to move more, all helped.

If I exercise, I try to do it in the morning before my kids get up. But I was so tired that I wasn't ever getting up early enough to do that. 

All of that has gradually started to change; I can do more exercise. The weather is much nicer since it’s summer, so I get more activity in my daily life. We’re also getting outside more as a family.

And because of all these lifestyle changes, I'm noticing steady weight loss. Nothing dramatic, nothing fast. It's never been fast with my body, but I'm going in the right direction on the scale now.

Are there specific exercise routines you do now?

I do a lot of yoga and walking either on my elliptical or with my kids outside. We live in D.C. right now, so once a week, we go downtown to museums or to see some monuments, all the touristy stuff. And that's a good exercise because it’s always a day full of walking.

That was an interesting experiment we did early on when I was wearing the CGM back in January.

Tell us about that!

We had spent the day of my birthday downtown doing a ton of walking; I think I got 15,000 steps. Then we came home and had birthday dinner. My mom always makes me a cherry pie—and this is not a healthy cherry pie. It’s full of sugar, wheat, and all the things that typically can mess up your blood sugar.

But it was my birthday, my mom was visiting, and I hadn’t had that pie in years. So we had it for dessert, and it did not spike my sugar. I was so shocked—I was astounded that I didn't have any spike. 

After learning more about the impact of exercise on your blood sugar and of eating your food in a specific order, I realized that I had walked and eaten some protein before it… So my body was revved up and ready to use that glucose, and my meal helped too.

It was a good feeling because, for five years, I'd been living like I couldn’t touch it or have any foods like that to avoid getting sick.

That’s wonderful. I know you mentioned cutting out snacking—did you experiment with portion sizes too?

My body is a lot happier when I have a good breakfast: a fat and protein-filled breakfast. And then I can go four or five hours before I’m hungry again. Then I still eat a relatively big lunch, but I'm not too hungry at dinner.

So, I can have a smaller portion at dinner. And that has helped with my numbers.

What about other lifestyle changes?

Aside from the benefits for blood sugar levels and weight loss, I also saw my anxiety improve. I talk about it with my clients all the time because mental health is my focus as a therapist.

Was there anything specific you were doing to manage the anxiety with the CGM?

There wasn't anything extra special that I was doing. I just started to feel better and be more well in my brain and my body. Basically, as I improved and stabilized my blood sugar, I saw my anxiety improve.

There’s an undeniable connection between how blood sugar impacts your mood and brain health.

So, it was interesting to watch because when I started tracking my blood sugar, I didn't feel as anxious. But this January through March, my husband was deployed, and life was stressful.

I needed the support—and it made such a big difference having the CGM throughout that journey.

#joinnutrisense

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