Diabetes and Emotional Eating-Start Eating Only When You’re Hungry

Diabetes and Emotional Eating-Start Eating Only When You’re Hungry

The Connection

So what is the connection between diabetes and emotional eating? To me, it’s easy to answer. Emotional eating leads to being overweight (especially in your abdomen area) and that’s one of the biggest risk factors for becoming a diabetic. That’s the connection. So let’s talk about emotional eating. I’ve been guilty of it and I know I’m not the only one.

Cravings and how to cope

Emotional eating

Craving are tough, I know. Thinking and smelling the food is so tempting. The trick here is to start craving the healthy foods once you are used to eating healthy permanently. If you go off the wagon, don’t worry too much. Just get your mind off it and back on to what made you jump and that you’ll handle it better the next time it happens. I KNOW it’s not easy.

Think about your mood when you crave. Is it stress related? That may have a lot to do with it. Another thing is to schedule your eating time and fill up your craving times by keeping busy. It will take your mind off it. I know because it works for me. Give it a try. You might be surprised. You know what else I say to myself when I crave? Nothing tastes better than how skinny feels! Ok, you have permission to write that one down and pin it up on your fridge! LOL

Support help

Now this doesn’t necessarily mean seeking professional help, although for some that is the option they may choose. It is more likely the choice for those who are suffering from anxiety or depression. You want to keep things in check as much as you can.

When I need to, I rely on my family and friends for support and you should too. Hey isn’t the old saying, “That’s what friends are for?” Take advantage of the good people in your life and lean on them if necessary. They would do the same for you. I can count the fingers on my one hand for the true blue friends that I have. I can turn to them. You can turn to yours too.

Why are you eating this right now?

Donuts

Did you have a bad day? A fight with your partner? Boss come down on you at work? These are all things that happen on a daily basis, but you should be not turning to food as your friend. It isn’t. You know it and I know it. I’ve been there. Not going back again. Hate that place. Being healthy and controlling my diabetes is my number one friend and priority.

I don’t want the extra weight anymore. It gave me back pain and many other ailments. I’m done. I’m fed up with diabetes affecting my life. Are you with me? Stop and think before you eat the box of donuts, candy, stuff your face with chips or ice cream. It will raise your cholesterol  and adds to belly fat. It’s too easy to give in. Once you do? Everybody and everything wins except you.

I’m telling you that emotions always seem to get the best of us. Not this time. It’s your turn to shine and win over any irresistible urge just to satisfy a “hunger” that is not really a hunger. It’s only an emotion taking over because of some negative thing happening at the moment. Don’t let it win. It’s your time to finally take over the reigns!

Eating junk is out- Everything else is in

Fast food sign

You have to eat to live, not live to eat. Once you get this into your head, it will become much clearer why you’re in the position you’re in now. I know how and why I got here. Wrong choices and for the wrong reasons. Just because you have to and want to lose weight, control your diabetes, and live a healthy life, doesn’t mean you can’t and that you’re not entitled. Yes eat, when you’re hungry, at meal times, and start choosing healthier foods. You don’t have to starve yourself. Just eat the foods that satisfy your hunger better than the sugar products have done in the past. Apple cider vinegar is a great appetite suppressant.

After all, the unhealthy choices I made didn’t satisfy my hunger. They only gave me cravings for more of the same. Eating the fruits, vegetables, and other good choices I made do keep me from cravings for the junk food. So, once I chose to throw the junk food out, everything else started falling into place as I began to feel healthier than before.

Once you are used to a different way of eating, the old junk food cravings will disappear. And there are many other better ways to spend your time instead of spending it stuffing your face with junk foods. As you begin the new path to healthy eating, you will no longer be trapped with emotional eating and this will result in weight loss and keeping your diabetes in check.

Let your brain think before you eat

Meal portions

I did it. You can too. I started to program my brain to stop and think before I go for food. It’s your stomach and body clock that should alert you about the time to eat and not the reason to just eat anything because it’s there. Don’t have any junk food on your list when you go to the grocery store. If you have nothing there to tempt you and trick your brain, then you’ll be much better off.

When you do eat, portion out your meals. Large portions are not the way to go. Cut your portion sizes down a bit. If you over indulge, you’ll regret it afterwards. And eat slowly. Savor what you’re eating and drink 8 oz. of water before you sit down and eat. You want to eat the right foods for the right reasons. First, you want to keep the weight off and with diabetes, you want that blood sugar level dropping and staying constant. Lose weight, especially if you’re diabetic and eat only when you’re supposed to. Jumping on my exercise bike is the answer!

Let me just say this too? Don’t deprive yourself. I’ve been there. Done it, It’s horrible. If your hunger pain is stronger than your urge to eat healthy and stick to it? Don’t starve yourself. It’s ok. Then have something to take the hunger away. Proteins are great. For me, I turn to nuts. They turn off the hunger alarm. But I watch everything because nuts are high in calories. It doesn’t mean to eat a whole jar of nuts. moderation, my friend. And don’t eat too close to bedtime. You don’t want to disrupt your sleep.

Comfort foods- Things to take their place

Let’s talk about comfort eating. Emotions trigger the brain to say, “Let’s eat!”  Food calms you. Or so you think it does. I learned to change my comfort foods to something that would be healthy for me, because I thought to myself, “At some point, I’ll be happier and crave what’s helping me to get healthier.” I did it. You can too. It’s just the initial acceptance that food is not something that is supposed to comfort you and help your emotional thoughts.

So, I want you to make a list of things that you enjoy doing and that will replace your “comfort food is satisfying my everything that is bothering me” list.

Here’s some possibilities:
  • Exercise
  • Music  (Love music)
  • Sports
  • Taking a drive
  • Movies
  • Bike ridingCrafts
  • Bike riding
  • Take a class
  • Yoga
  • Join a club

Go ahead. Take your pick.

Question yourself

Before you make any decision in the emotional eating department, question yourself. You want to feel good about yourself afterward, don’t you? Ok so what questions might you be asking?

  • Do I really want this food that’s bad for me and I just don’t care anymore?
  • Why can’t I make the change and eat healthier?
  • As a diabetic, am I just sick and tired of taking shots, testing my sugars and watching my carbs?
  • Am I really supposed to be eating this? Isn’t it bad for my body and my diabetes?
  • What can I do to change?

Man at the top of a mountain

These are all valid questions to ask yourself. I agree. But, guess what? These are ALL negative thoughts. Try turning it around by asking positive questions.

  • How will I feel both physically and emotionally once I get to the top of the mountain? (It’s a big climb, but the view at the top is spectacular and worth it.
  • Won’t I live a happier and healthier life?
  • Why is the end result worth the pain? Because you deserve the end result.

Final thoughts

Diabetes and emotional eating can lead to weight gain, and higher blood sugars, plus many other diseases. To give you something that will help you with eating and diabetes and lower your blood sugar, this will help you! I hoped you enjoyed this article and if you have any questions about diabetes and emotional eating, please leave a comment below.

 

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22 thoughts on “Diabetes and Emotional Eating-Start Eating Only When You’re Hungry

  1. It good to know that I we do have a choice to choose exercise over junk any day. We just have to get discipline. It is also discipline of the mind as well which is the trigger to all of this binge eating. We tend to rationalize the reason we eat this junk (I know I do lol). Great post and thank you for the reminder that I do have a choice. But, are there any studies that show people with diabetes are more likely to emotionally eat?

    1. Yes Liz, we all have the choices. Wouldn’t be nice if junk food was good for us? I wouldn’t necessarily say that studies show that diabetics eat more from emotions than people without diabetes, but I’m sure that some diabetics do. The bottom line is that anybody can eat emotionally for whatever reason they choose.

  2. I needed to read this… When I am bored in the evenings I eat, when I read, I eat. I always look for something sweet to eat and have tried to stop it several times. Your tips are great and I really like the thought about making a list with activities that can replace the eating, I love Yoga, hiking and spending time in nature. Great post, thanks a lot:-)

    1. Yes Linda, emotional eating is a big problem, not only for diabetics, bur for millions of other people too. I finally stopped eating at night. Dinner time is it for the day. I learned to keep busy and do whatever I’m doing without food. It is not easy. It’s a mind over matter thing. Time for an activity that doesn’t involve eating.

  3. I like the list you have provided in place of comfort foods. My father passed away from diabetes, unfortunately, at that time, we didn’t have access to any online stuff. Glad that you have this information out there, as I know many people are searching for answers to deal with diabetes.

    1. Unfortunately, many years ago the internet was not at our disposal. There are so many alternatives to eating. We’re all guilty of emotional eating at some point. I personally realized it, and chose activities such as bike riding to take its place. Off riding I go! Thanks!

  4. Hello here. Thank you for the encouraging article. I understand the importance of this type blogs. People need to know that they not alone. They are not alone who sneak to refrigerator at night or stop in fast food chain because it smells so good. Most of us are slaves of habits. We do not think, we act.
    Impulsiveness does not serve us, never. I know by myself because I am crazy about chocolate.
    I think that is time to create a club where chocolate lovers would share their experience and advice how to stop constantly consuming this precious thing.
    I found one way how to trick myself. I buy cacao beans. They are raw and resemble chocolate. Besides it I drink plenty of water with magnesium. It helps.
    Thanks for good read, all the best, Nemira.

    1. I’m with you Nemira. Chocolate has always been my biggest downfall. They say that dark chocolate is good for you in small amounts. So, here is how I’m conquering my chocolate addiction. I drink protein chocolate shakes and eat chocolate protein bars. I love the taste and they have protein and the calories and sugar are low. I love it. You might want to try it. It can’t hurt!

  5. Rob, you hit the nail on the head with this one. Emotional eating is a huge contributor to the risk of diabetes, not to mention obesity. Comfort foods especially should never be underestimated. I’m a cheesecake lover and at times I have to walk on the other side of the food court to avoid the pastry shops. Diabetes runs in my family so I’d rather take care and start making good decisions early!

    1. I personally believe that most people who are overweight and have diabetes get it from emotional eating. As we age, we just don’t think before we eat. The junk foods are so tempting and they taste so good but there’s always a price to pay. In this case, if it runs in your family too? You could be a candidate. Don’t be. Shoot the cheesecake!

  6. I definitely get cravings for sugar when I am stressed out. My response to cravings is similar to yours – “that can’t possibly taste as good as I feel right now” Keeping your health in check is all about making good choices.

    The times when I give in and cheat are usually when I do not have an alternative on hand. Like when I’m at work and there are donuts in the kitchen but I forgot my almonds at home. Or if I’m at a gathering that does not have healthy food and I didn’t think the eat beforehand. So I always try to keep a healthy option handy.

    Thanks for mentioning the things to take comfort foods’ place. I especially like practicing yoga.

    1. I know how you feel Katie. The sugar cravings can be unbearable. Since I changed my eating habits, my blood sugars have dropped significantly and I don’t get the sugar cravings. I love chocolate and the way around that was chocolate protein bars. They have protein, few calories and very little sugar. Some of them don’t taste great but the “Pure Protein” ones are excellent. They work great for me. Yoga is a great choice and has many health benefits.

  7. Hi
    I love how it seems you completely relate to what you are writing on your site.
    I agree with everything you say in that mindset has an awful lot to do with our decisions in life and that we can control our condition whether it be diabetes or any other chronic illness.
    Thank you for your info, you even made me laugh a little bit, I think it’s good to include humour as much as we can in our daily lives.
    I think that replacing our eating time with other habits, like exercise is a great way to take our minds off food and makes us feel better at the same time.
    Thanks for the great info.

    1. Thanks Rosie. It pays to have a sense of humor, right? But diabetes is no laughing matter of course. I am passionate about what I write and my goal is to help every person I can with diabetes and emotional eating. Exercise is a huge benefit for treating diabetes. It’s time we change how we think. We must win the battle of eating for the wrong reasons.

  8. Very informative, in fact I did not know that diabetes was also caused by eating too much, i always thought that it was a blood sickness . Excuse my ignorance I have nobody close to that problem. But personally I like to eat a lot so I will take into account all this information. Very good website. Thank you for create such amazing website.

    1. Well there are numerous things that can cause diabetes but having high blood sugar is caused by being overweight with some people. It’s important to have physicals and labs done so you know your exact numbers. But eating to live is what we’re supposed to do, not living to eat. Stop emotional eating and you’ll be on the right road to avoiding diabetes. If you are diabetic, check those numbers!

  9. A very common disease these days. Much so because our lifestyles but ultimately because of our choices. I get the feeling that your suggestions are based on methods that you have personally tried and tested. That’s really nice, makes me wanna have a go at em, knowing that it worked for you. Great tips overall on how we can turn things around with a few mind tricks and simple habits.

    1. Yes, these are based on what I’ve tried. Diabetes can be controlled and a lot of it has to do with emotional eating. Learn the correct methods of eating and it’s a big start. Overeating and eating junk foods lead to diabetes. Once you’ve gone and tried all the wrong ways, then you can master the all right ways.

  10. Emotional eating is a big issue these days, i don’t think we had that problem 100 years ago.

    It is good to highlight the fact that we may be feeling better when over indulging in food but there is a price to pay.

    We are all guilty of it, it takes a bit of time to learn to eat better but it is well worth it, would you agree?

    1. Yes emotional eating is a huge problem and it leads to weight gain and possible diabetes. I think most of our health problems arise from poor eating choices, so yes I do agree about eating better. It’s all about eating when you’re hungry and stopping when you’re full too.

  11. As a health coach, I see this all the time. So many people suffer from emotional eating, diabetics probably more so like you mentioned. Your tips are spot on. Unfortunately, we live in a society where there is an abundance of cheap, man-made artificially tempting foods that are addictive making it so difficult. So more reason for people to be very mindful and vigilant with what they are putting in their mouth. It’s too easy. Great article.

    1. It’s unfortunate that so many people suffer from diabetes due to emotional eating, There are so many junk foods and fast foods that are no good for you and we trade time for good health by eating in these fast food places. I believe that if people could get emotional eating under control, there wouldn’t be as many overweight and people with diabetes.

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