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Activities to Increase Your Time in Range

The goal of Phase 3 of the Level2 Method is to achieve a 70% time in range (TIR). That means staying between the American Diabetes Association-recommended targets of 70 and 180 mg/dL, 70% of the time, for at least 14 days. You’re trying to decrease peaks and plummets in your glucose over an increasingly longer period.

(Please note this goal isn’t right for everyone. Check with your provider or care team to learn if it’s right for you before you try these activities.)

Not sure where to start? Don’t worry! We have some great ideas for helping you increase your TIR and make it through this phase with flying colors.

Try easy food swaps.

Level2 members and coaches report that simply swapping out certain popular carbohydrate-filled foods for less carby foods can make a big difference. Here are some of their favorites:

Rice Cauliflower rice
Spaghetti (pasta) Zucchini noodles or spaghetti squash
Canned fruit (packed in syrup) Canned fruit packed in water or its own juice
Creamy dips Hummus, avocado dip or cottage cheese
Hamburger or hotdog bun Lettuce wraps
Foods that are fried, breaded or battered Foods that are grilled, steamed, baked, poached, roasted or cooked in an air fryer

Pair your food in a new way.

If you’re eating carbs, try to pair them with a protein. For example, pair tortilla chips with a bean dip or pita chips with hummus. Add vegetables and protein to your rice. In other words, don’t eat “naked” carbs — meaning carbs like plain rice, pasta or chips paired with nothing else. That’s because naked carbs can raise glucose faster and higher than if a protein, fat or fiber are consumed with it.

Eat in a different order.

If you create a meal without naked carbs, you’ll have more options for learning to increase your time in range – specifically, eating protein and vegetables before the carbs on your plate. Protein and fiber will help slow down the release of glucose from the carbs and keep your glucose from rising out of range.

Crowd out the carbs.

You should sense a theme here: We aren’t telling you to completely cut all carbs all the time. Sometimes you really want lasagna, and that’s OK. Just choose a smaller portion of it (or your carby dish of choice) and fill the rest of your plate with a vegetable or salad. This allows you to enjoy your life without all-or-nothing dieting, which isn’t fun or sustainable. The key is to use your continuous glucose monitor (CGM) to determine how many carbs you can handle without flying out of range. In addition to the strategies you’re learning in Level2, you’ll also figure out new ways to bring your glucose back down when it rises.

Do the ‘Plate Method.’

Just fill half your plate with non-starchy vegetables (green beans, broccoli, salad, etc.), fill one quarter with a lean protein (fish, chicken, eggs, turkey, etc.) and fill one quarter with carbohydrates.

Try time restricted eating.

Time restricted eating — also known as intermittent fasting — refers to eating (and not eating) within a particular window of time. Be sure to check with your health provider before you try time restricted eating just to make sure it’s a good strategy for you. You might start with a 12/12 eating window, meaning you would eat between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. and not eat between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. Not eating allows your body extra time to burn off the excess glucose. You can choose the time that works best for you.

Move after you eat.

Start small if you haven’t been exercising regularly (and check with your doctor if you aren’t sure if you should). A 15-minute walk after a meal is a perfect place to begin. If 15 minutes seems too long, just start with two minutes and work your way up to 15 minutes.


Would you like more ideas that could help you increase your time in range? Visit the Learning tab on the Level2 app, or if you’re stuck or need support, reach out to your care team in the Chat tab.  

Level2 is here for you.

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