What Will Get Me To Buy A New Smart Watch

May 11, 2021

I have a Garmin Forerunner 630. I wear it 24/7, but since I don't do much running any longer, I essentially use it as a step counter. I'm not sold on the concept of a smart watch, which is why I haven't jumped on the Apple Watch or Wear OS trains. There just isn't enough value in a smart watch.

That might change soon.

Apple has been rumored to be working on including CGM (continuous glucose monitoring) functionality in a future model. If they could pull this off, it would be groundbreaking.

Interest in the new sensor was stoked by Apple itself in a survey to Apple Watch users to gauge interest in new features -- one of which was blood sugar tracking - CNET

A CGM, as it exists today, is a small disc with a needle you stick to your arm for two weeks at a time. It measures blood glucose levels every 5 minutes. Why is this important? Obviously, for people who need to know their levels to survive and stay conscious, it is critical. But, what about the rest of us?

I've used a CGM provided by Levels for a total of 8 weeks over two periods to understand how food and movement impacts my glucose levels. Most importantly, the spikes that occur with eating. The impact those spikes have on human metabolism and overall health is greater than we as a society give credit to.

Most people have encountered the sugar crash after eating, most often in the afternoon and evening. It might also be pretty obvious that glucose spikes after eating sugary foods.

These wild swings actually create harm to many systems in the body. Also, it causes harm to what we now call metabolic health. What is that? When metabolic health is not at its best, that means our metabolism isn't working as efficiently as it could be. Metabolism is how we process and convert food into energy.

A CGM can give us immediate insights into how we are treating our metabolism and what is holding us back.

For example, I learned that eating blueberries and grapes shot my glucose to the moon. Ok, so do I stop eating them? Grapes, yes. Blueberries, no. They have too many amazing nutrients, and I like them! So, what do I do? There are a few different strategies.

One is to combine them with slower digested foods, like protein and fat. Eating them on an empty stomach will allow them to break down as fast as possible, but combine them with something that needs to be digested at the same time slows everything down. Especially if it is something that also takes longer to digest. I can eat them after a big meal of meat and veggies, no problem.

Another is to just eat them slower. A small handful, then a few minutes later, another. Doing so won't shove as much of the fruit sugar into my system as quickly.

Lastly, get moving after eating them. If I go for a walk or workout right after eating them, my body can immediately convert that sugar to energy my body uses.

What get's measured gets improved.

The more we can see what's going on in our body and how are actions are impactful, the more likely we are to change.