Continuous Glucose Monitor Experiment

I read a book called Glucose Revolution recently and it got me motivated to order a continuous glucose monitor to measure my blood glucose levels. My motivation for this experiment was to see:

  • if I can improve my energy during the day by reducing glucose spikes
  • if my headaches are correlated with high/low blood sugar
  • build an understanding and intuition about food I eat on regular basis and its impact on my blood sugar

We learn best by doing and there have been interesting takeaways. I paid $55 for the sensor and it needs to be renewed after 14 days. It has a very small thin needle that you don’t feel when sticking into your arm. It was painless. Once the sensor is in, you can read blood sugar levels using your phone, by touching the sensor to your phone and using their iPhone/Android app.

Day 1 – Learned how much sugar one piece of cake can have!

Day 2 – Learned sweets can result in dips in blood sugar due to too much insulin

Day 3 – Learned that a 30-min run can lower my blood sugar

Day 4 – There’s a recurring drop in my sugar around ~7 AM. I believe this is my circadian rhythm kicking in (I woke up at 9 AM)

Day 5 – 20 min walk after a meal does lower the spike

Day 6 – Liquids are absorbed faster (~30 min). A cob of corn is high in carbohydrates!

Day 7 – Cocktails are usually high in sugar
Day 8 – No spike after eating dinner: eggplant, yoghurt and chicken
Day 9 – Apparently blood sugar can rise during a 30 min run. Muscles needs energy
Day 10 – I better replace chocolate with a healthier snack
Day 11 – Medjool dates are very high in sugar. Bread in iskender kebap is high in carbs. White nectarine is relatively low sugar.
Day 12 – White rice, french fries, pasta … All pretty high in carbs
Day 13 – Again, running on an empty stomach resulted in significant rise in blood sugar, possibly due to glycogen breakdown by the liver and muscles
To recap, my blood sugar was within range the whole time, mostly around ~100 mg/dL and wouldn’t go above 150 mg/dL or below 80 mg/dL which was good. I discovered that my headaches are not related to sugar but my intestines.

I learned some pretty interesting things about my body, like how my blood sugar regularly drops around 7 AM during sleep due to my circadian rhythm or how running on an empty stomach causes glycogen breakdown by the liver and muscles and results in a temporary rise in blood sugar.

The benefit of walking for 20 minutes after lunch was pretty clear in the graphs, which I will continue to do after a big meal. I realized how bad white rice, corn, potatoes and dates are for blood sugar, I will consume in moderation. Seeing how quickly drinks are absorbed, don’t drink your calories makes more sense now.

Overall, I learned so much during this experiment, and plan on repeating with different foods next time!

August 21, 2023

Zihinsel Alet Çantası

Terapistimin ofisinin yeni bir yere taşınacak olması kendi başına terapi konusuna dönüştü.

Normalde 12 dakikada yürüdüğüm ofisin yeni yerine gitmek artık yürüyerek 25 dakika sürecekti. Taşınma haberini aldıktan sonra, taşınma gerçekleşene kadar geçen 10 günlük sürede sürekli olumsuz olana odaklandığımı ve konforumda olacak bu azalmayı zihnimde büyüttüğümü fark ettim.

Oysa zihinsel alet çantamda bu gibi durumlarda kullanabileceğim pek çok araç vardı:

  • Perspektife koymak: Bu aktivitenin hayatımda kapladığı yeri hatırlatmak. Bu benim sadece haftada bir ya da iki kez yaptığım bir aktivite, her gün gittiğim bir yer değil. Bu benim haftamın ufak bir kısmını etkileyecek bir gelişme.
  • Şükretmek: Terapistim Anadolu yakasına da taşınıyor olabilirdi, ya da doğum iznine ayrılıyor olabilirdi. Mevcut durumun daha kötü pek çok versiyonu olduğunu kendime hatırlatarak şükredebilirim.
  • Olumsuzdaki olumluyu görmek: Evet evime daha uzak bir yere taşınıyor ama bu beni daha uzun yürüyüş yapmaya mecbur kılacak ve hareket etmek sağlığım için faydalı olacak. Ya da taşındığı mahalleyi pek iyi tanımıyorum, bu vesileyle yeni bir mahalleyi keşfetmiş olacağım.
  • Önemli olana odaklanmak: Terapiye giderken önemli olan iyi bir ilişki kurduğum, kendimi rahat hissettiğim ve fayda gördüğüm birisiyle çalışmak. Evime yakınlığın en önemli kriterim olmadığını kendime hatırlatmak …
  • Kontrolümde olana odaklanmak: Ofisin konumu benim kontrolümde değil ama ulaşımımı nasıl sağlayacağım ya da devam edip etmeyeceğim benim kontrolümde. Yürümeye üşendiğim zamanlarda araba ile gidebilirim demek de kontrolümde olana odaklanmak ve esnemek için güzel bir başlangıç.

Sizin de aklınıza gelen başka bakış açıları varsa lütfen benimle paylaşın.

Günün sonunda 25 dakikalık yürüyüşü yaptığım zaman zaten zannettiğim kadar kötü olmadığını, kafamda büyüttüğümü deneyimleyerek öğrenmiş oldum. Belki de gelecekte olacakları düşünmek yerine o ana odaklanıp anda kalabilseydim böyle bir sorunla hiç karşılaşmamış olacaktım.

August 4, 2023

Glucose Revolution

Sugar addiction has been an ongoing battle for me since middle school. I use sugar to soothe myself from stress and headaches, or use it to get a dopamine hit when I’m bored. I’m interested in reducing glucose spikes to feel better and improve my energy levels. I came across this book in the American Book Center in Amsterdam and was immediately interested when I saw the glucose charts inside.

Glucose Revolution is about the author’s takeaways from using a continuous glucose monitor. It offers actionable steps to reduce insulin spikes based on these observations:

  1. The order we eat our food affects glucose spikes: First eat food with fiber, then proteins and eat carbohydrates last. Eating fiber and proteins will slow down absorption of carbohydrates into the bloodstream and will reduce spikes. Foods rich in fiber include whole grains, vegetables and nuts.
  2. Walk after a meal: Take a 10-20 minute walk after a meal. Your muscles will use up the glucose and it will reduce the spike.
  3. Vinegar: A drink with a tablespoon of vinegar in a tall glass of water, drunk a few minutes before eating something sweet, flattens glucose spikes.
  4. Prefer dessert over snack: If you want to eat something sweet, have it as dessert after a meal rather than a snack in the middle of the day on an empty stomach.


  • Snack every few hours to make sure glucose doesn’t drop too low: This is not recommended as it creates an insulin cycle
  • Fat-free yogurt: Yogurt with low-fat is better than no-fat for glucose
  • Types of sugar: Honey, brown sugar, white sugar. They all have the same effect, doesn’t matter which type you consume

Other interesting parts:

  • 70 minutes is around the time glucose spike reaches its peak
  • Digestion takes up to 4 hours on average
  • Beer causes spikes due its high carb content, prefer lager or ale over stout. Prefer wine over beer
  • We can completely ignore calories and still lose weight if we just focus on flattening our glucose curves
  • Breakfast is the worst time to eat just sugar and starches because we have an empty stomach
  • Don’t put more fruit into the blender than you could eat whole in one sitting
  • The best options to keep your glucose levels steady are berries, citrus fruits and small, tart apples because they contain the most fibre and smallest amount of sugar. The worst options, because they have the highest amount of sugar, are mangoes, pineapple and other tropical fruit.

After reading the book, I’ve ordered a continuous glucose monitor. I will confirm if these recommendations will produce the same results on my body, and will use it to build an intuition on food I consume and its effects on my glucose levels.

My only criticism for the book is that it’s looking at a complex system (our body) only through the lens of glucose, and making suggestions on what kinds of food to prefer. However, it’s usually more nuanced, avoiding glucose spikes is not the only component of nutrition or well being.

Overall, the book had a profound impact on me for making lifestyle changes and I highly recommended reading it if you suspect health issues due to sugar.

August 1, 2023

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sarp centel

Sarp is a software developer. He writes about technology, books and software.
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books i've read recently
Glucose Revolution
Pathless Path
Stop Asking Questions
Burn Rate
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