She’s the health expert everyone is talking about (including her two million Instagram fans) and she can banish your food cravings in four easy steps
The Get The Gloss office is always crammed with teetering piles of the latest health and wellbeing books but one that really caught our eye recently is The Glucose Goddess Method by Jessie Inchauspé. The 30-year-old French biochemist has built up a following of 2.2m on Instagram (she’s @GlucoseGoddess) with her accessible take on the science around managing our blood sugar levels.
Once of interest primarily to people with diabetes, the notion of avoiding glucose spikes through the day has become a major talking point in recent years. Inchauspé’s work is endorsed by one of the leading authorities in this field, Professor Tim Spector, creator of the hugely popular Zoe eating plan. (Our writer tried it out - read her Zoe diet review.)
Inchauspé’s new book isn’t a diet plan as such, although you may lose weight following her method. What we love about it is that it’s so simple. She focuses on four key tips; easy changes to make to your daily lifestyle – having a savoury breakfast, drinking vinegar daily, adding a vegetable starter to your lunch or dinner and moving after every meal. She tried it out on 2700 guinea pigs, of which 99 percent said they’d be continuing with the programme.
There are also more than 100 glucose-steadying recipes in the book that are ideal for those who don’t have much time to spend in the kitchen (which is of course often a barrier to healthy eating). This niçoise salad takes less than 20 mins to prep and this chicken, lemon and olive traybake is not only delicious but creates minimal washing up. Result!
What are glucose spikes?
Found mainly in carbs, glucose is our body’s preferred energy source. But it’s easy to overdo it. “When we deliver too much glucose too quickly to our body during a meal, we experience a glucose spike,” says Inchauspé. “Most of us experience glucose spikes (about 80% of the population, according to some US estimates), and unfortunately, these spikes carry with them consequences that can harm both our physical and our mental health.”
This isn’t just about cravings (who hasn’t had a croissant for breakfast and then been hungry again an hour later?) and eating too much though. “These spikes and drops can cause inflammation, ageing, low mood, hormonal imbalances that can result in difficult menopause symptoms, PCOS, brain fog... and in the long term, conditions like type 2 diabetes and Alzheimer’s symptoms,” she says. So it definitely makes sense to eat in a way to help level off those spikes.
The Glucose Goddess’s four steps to steady blood sugar levels
You introduce one of these per week, so by the end of the month, you have four new healthy habits. They’re all easy peasy and don’t involve vast amounts of time or money.
- Week 1: Have a savoury breakfast
Sorry, a croissant without jam doesn't count. It needs to be protein and fat-based, says Inchauspé, and the only sweet thing allowed is whole fruit. Protein needs to be the centre and it can be anything from eggs to Greek yoghurt to fish to meat, even protein powder. Try these Rush Hour Egg Cups – basically eggs, veg and cheese combo in muffin moulds, that you can grab before whizzing to work. The point is you start the day the right way, with “no cravings and steady energy”. You should be able to go for four hours without feeling hungry again.
- Week 2: Drink a daily tablespoon of vinegar
Pick a vinegar of your choice, anything except very syrupy balsamic which is too high in sugar. You don’t have to neck it like medicine, you can drizzle it as a dressing or get your dose with a handful of pickles. “Studies have shown that one tablespoon of vinegar can reduce the glucose spike of a meal by up to 30 per cent,” says Inchauspé. “With that, cravings are curbed, hunger is tamed and more fat is burned.” This is because vinegar contains acetic acid, which slows down the enzymes that turn sugars and starch into glucose.
- Week 3: Have a veggie starter
Before lunch or dinner, eat your greens (and other veggies too). This could simply be a bowl of crudités or something more considered (there’s a five-minute soup recipe,using frozen spinach and broccoli, in the book). The idea is you boost your fibre intake. “As fibre arrives in our intestines, it deploys itself against our intestinal walls. There, it forms a protective mesh that slows and reduces the absorption into the bloodstream of any glucose coming down afterwards,” says Inchauspé.
- Week 4: Move after eating
Essentially, moving your butt means your muscles will burn more energy, which needs glucose, so any spike caused by your meal will be mitigated. Inchauspé advises moving for 10 minutes after each meal, within 90 minutes of eating. You don’t have to go for a walk, you could bang out 10 minutes of jumping squats in front of Colin From Accounts.
And that's it. Pretty straightforward, right? We're going to give it a whirl over the next month - let us know if you do too. For more sensible, achievable advice from Inchauspé, see The Glucose Goddess Method by Jessie Inchauspé.