Mindful Living

Should You Use a CGM?

Written By: Kripa Jalan

Should You Use a CGM?

It started with the heart-rate monitor in the 1980s.

Four decades later, we have rings, watches, scales, and apps that are designed to quantify various aspects of our fitness, metabolic health, and nutrition.

Continuous glucose monitors (CGM) are the latest addition.

By attaching a CGM device to your upper arm, you can see how your blood sugar reacts to your meals. This real-time feedback, ideally, is supposed to help you identify the foods that cause the largest spikes in your blood glucose—along with the crashes that can sometimes follow. Making better food choices should help you minimize those peaks and valleys.

But does monitoring every rise and fall in blood glucose make sense for you or is it just an unnecessary expense?

Who are CGMs for?

Continuous glucose monitors were initially developed for people with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes – to assess acute changes in glucose levels. Patients needed to adjust their medication/food based on the glucose levels collected at a given time in the day.

More recently, however, CGMs are now being used outside of the diabetic population. From the average fitness enthusiast hoping to prevent chronic diseases related to glucose dysregulation to athletes looking to maintain steady fuel levels – we’ve seen many different kinds of people take to this technology.

What are the pros and cons of CGMs?


  1. Blood sugar is a key indicator of metabolic health. Consistently high-glucose levels or frequent spikes and crashes can lead to short-term health effects like fatigue and long-term chronic illnesses like cardiovascular disease. CGMs can help you identify trends and triggers and understand how to maintain stable blood sugar levels.
  2. Test don’t guess. We can’t tell if someone has poor metabolic health just by looking at them. Size is not an accurate predictor of an individual’s health status. The people who have high blood sugar aren’t always who you’d predict. The CGM provides real-time data throughout the day, including trends before/during/after meals or exercise, as well as while you’re sleeping. This allows you to compare your levels to what your baseline blood sugar levels are. 
  3. CGMs can also help patients with diabetes to manage their condition, and provide alerts when levels are either too high or too low to help with acute treatment decisions.


  1. Glucose fluctuations are normal. Blood sugar is meant to go up and down. There’s little to no evidence (at the time of writing this post) that normal glucose fluctuations are dangerous.
  2. The demonization of carbs! Carbohydrates aren’t inherently unhealthy. Of course, the type matters. But, that’s true of any food group. Carbs essentially provide a higher spike in blood sugar than dietary fats. Taken to extremes, one might conclude that a slab of butter is better for you than a piece of fruit.
  3. Of course, the device provides useful information, to an extent. But it can also create stress around food, particularly carbohydrates. The stress of continuously monitoring/checking your levels could be worse than the carb content of your meal.
  4. People who have a history of disordered eating should consider whether having this kind of data is the most helpful tool for them or whether it would worsen their relationship with food and exercise.

What next?

At Burgers to Beasts, we do look at blood glucose readings to understand how our Diabetic patients respond to certain foods, stress, sleep, and exercise. For non-diabetic patients, monitoring glucose (for a brief period) may help optimize health.

However, several people may not need to track their blood sugar daily. This applies specifically to those with disordered eating tendencies / those who experience anxiety around food. 

Whether the device is right for you or not depends on your goals, mindset, what you hope to learn and do with that information, and personality. 

Looking for additional support to help balance your blood sugar levels?

We can help! Check out our 1-1 nutrition coaching program.