Diabetes: Coping With Your Feelings About Your Diet
Our emotions influence what we eat,
when we eat, and how much we eat. So negative feelings can interfere with your
ability to follow your diet for
If you feel that certain foods, such as
chocolate cake, are "bad," you may feel guilty after eating a
If you are angry because you think you can't eat the foods
you like, you may feel resentful.
If you are afraid that you may
gain weight or develop other problems, you may not eat enough food.
After you accept your negative feelings about diabetes and
your diet, you will be more likely to let go of these feelings. Then you can
more easily learn and successfully follow a healthy diet.
feelings can also help you follow your diet for diabetes. If you feel like you
are doing something good for your health, you may feel motivated. Then you may
feel even better about your diet and yourself.
To deal with your
Learn about your diet for diabetes. You will be
surprised to learn that you can have all the types of foods you like. All you
need to do is fit them into your meal or snack plan.
other people who successfully follow the diet for diabetes. Find out what foods
they like and how they have worked them into their meals.
foods and new recipes to put some variety into your meals so you will not feel
People often think that
following a diet for diabetes means giving up foods they like and having to eat
foods they don't like. If you think a diet for diabetes means you can't eat any
of the foods you like, try the following exercise:
As completely as you can, fill in the four
lists of foods on the
food list card(What is a PDF document?).
Examine your lists. Is
your "bad for me" list very similar to your "foods I like" list? Is your "good
for me" list similar to your "foods I dislike" list? If you think a diet for
diabetes has only foods you don't like, consider this.
There are no "good" or "bad" foods. All
foods can fit into a diet for diabetes.
You don't have to give up
the foods you like. You can learn how to fit them into a balanced diet.
Cross out the foods in the "foods I dislike"
list. You don't have to eat them. You can eat any of the foods in the other
three lists. You may need to eat some of the foods (high-sugar foods) in the
"foods I like" list in smaller amounts and less frequently to prevent high
Recognize your feelings
From the list below, check
all the feelings you have about a diet for diabetes. Add any other negative
feelings you have about following the diet.
___ Deprived or
Identify what you may be afraid of, angry about, or
resistant to in the
feelings diary(What is a PDF document?).
Don't judge yourself
by your feelings. It is what you do with them that matters.
Let go of your negative feelings
why you have a negative feeling is not enough to rid you of it—you will need to
do something to let go of it. Complete the section of the feelings diary about
how you plan to deal with each negative feeling.
You can let go
of negative feelings by:
Writing about what you feel and reading aloud
to yourself what you have written.
Talking with your family, a
friend, or your diabetes specialist. You may learn that your negative feeling
is based on something that is not true.
Joining a diabetes support
group. Most people with diabetes have had negative feelings and are willing to
share how they dealt with those feelings. Call your local affiliate of the
American Diabetes Association to find support groups in your
Getting counseling. If a feeling continues to get in your way
of taking care of yourself, talk with a health professional about
You cannot just forget about your feelings. Any
negative feelings that you have can affect your ability to follow your diet.
Accept your feelings without judging them. The first
step is to recognize them. Then, you can deal with them in a healthy way so
they don't interfere with your ability to care for yourself.
You don't have to eat any food that you don't
like. Accept your feelings without judging them.
First, recognize them, then accept them. Next, you can deal with them in a
healthy way so they don't interfere with your ability to care for
You need to accept your feelings without
judging them. First, recognize them, then accept them. Next, you can deal with
them in a healthy way so they don't interfere with your ability to care for
There are no bad foods. All kinds of foods can
be eaten on a diet for diabetes. Accept your feelings
without judging them. First, recognize them, then accept them. Next, you can
deal with them in a healthy way so they don't interfere with your ability to
care for yourself.
Now that you have read this
information, you may be ready to deal with your negative feelings about a diet
for diabetes. You know that positive feelings about yourself and your diet can
also help motivate you to stay on your diet for diabetes.
Talk with your diabetes specialist (doctor, registered dietitian, or certified diabetes educator).
If you have questions or have
identified areas that you need help with, review them when you visit your
If you would like more information on dealing with your
feelings about diabetes, the following resources are available:
American Diabetes Association (ADA)
1701 North Beauregard Street
Alexandria, VA 22311
The American Diabetes Association (ADA) is a national organization
for health professionals and consumers. Almost every state has a local office.
ADA sets the standards for the care of people with diabetes. Its focus is on
research for the prevention and treatment of all types of diabetes. ADA
provides patient and professional education mainly through its publications,
which include the monthly magazine Diabetes Forecast,
books, brochures, cookbooks and meal planning guides, and pamphlets. ADA also
provides information for parents about caring for a child with diabetes.
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.