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
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
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?
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
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
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:
- Music (Love music)
- Taking a drive
- Bike riding
- Take a class
- Join a club
Go ahead. Take your pick.
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?
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.
Emotional eating can lead to weight gain, diabetes, and higher blood sugars, plus many other diseases. To give you something that will help you with eating and diabetes, 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.