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Diabetes: Coping With Your Feelings About Your Diet


Table of Contents


Actionsets help people take an active role in managing a health condition.   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 diabetes.

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.

Your 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 feelings effectively:

Actionsets help people take an active role in managing a health condition.  What are your feelings about the diet for diabetes?
Actionsets help people take an active role in managing a health condition.  Why deal with negative feelings?
Actionsets help people take an active role in managing a health condition.  How to deal with negative feelings about your diet for diabetes
Actionsets help people take an active role in managing a health condition.  Where to go from here

What? - What is the medical information or key concepts related to the action?  What are your feelings about the diet for diabetes?

Feelings can be positive or negative. Feelings affect how we think and behave. Dealing with a negative feeling means:

Test Your Knowledge

  1. There are no right or wrong feelings, and you are not a "bad" person for having negative feelings.

    1. True

      This answer is correct.

      There are no right or wrong feelings, and you are not a "bad" person for having negative feelings. You can deal with them by recognizing them as feelings, accepting them, and letting go of them.

    2. False

      This answer is incorrect.

      There are no right or wrong feelings, and you are not a "bad" person for having negative feelings. You can deal with them by recognizing them as feelings, accepting them, and letting go of them.


  2. Recognizing anger and resentment toward the diet for diabetes is the first step in dealing with those feelings.

    1. True

      This answer is correct.

      Recognizing anger and resentment toward following the diet for diabetes is the first step in dealing with those feelings.

    2. False

      This answer is incorrect.

      Recognizing anger and resentment toward following the diet for diabetes is the first step in dealing with those feelings.


Why? - Why the action is important?  Why deal with negative feelings?

Negative feelings can get in the way of your ability to learn about and follow your diet that is very important for keeping your blood sugar level within your target range.

Test Your Knowledge

  1. Negative feelings do not interfere with your ability to follow a balanced diet.

    1. True

      This answer is incorrect.

      Negative feelings can interfere with your ability to follow a balanced diet. They may cause you to resist learning about and following the diet.

    2. False

      This answer is correct.

      Negative feelings can interfere with your ability to follow a balanced diet. They may cause you to resist learning about and following the diet.


How? - Learn the steps involved in taking action.  How to deal with negative feelings about your diet for diabetes

Give yourself permission

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:

  1. As completely as you can, make a food list card . Write down foods that you like and dislike, and foods that are "bad" and "good" for diabetes.
  2. 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.
  3. 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 blood sugar.

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.

___ Confused
___ Afraid
___ Angry
___ Deprived or resentful
___ Resistant
___ Other___________________________________

Identify what you may be afraid of, angry about, or resistant to in a feelings diary.

Don't judge yourself by your feelings. It is what you do with them that matters.

Let go of your negative feelings

Just identifying 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. Record in your feelings diary how you plan to deal with each negative feeling.

You can let go of negative feelings by:

Test Your Knowledge

Complete the following sentence.

  1. To deal with your negative feelings, you need to:

    1. Just forget about your feelings.

      This answer is incorrect.

      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.

    2. Eat only foods on your "dislike" list.

      This answer is incorrect.

      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 yourself.

    3. Accept your feelings.

      This answer is correct.

      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 yourself.

    4. Talk yourself out of eating "bad" foods.

      This answer is incorrect.

      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.


Where? - Other resources and organizations that can help you take action.  Where to go from here

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 diabetes specialist.

If you would like more information on dealing with your feelings about diabetes, the following resources are available:

Organizations

Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
120 South Riverside Plaza
Suite 2000
Chicago, IL  60606-6995
Phone: 1-800-877-0877
Email: knowledge@eatright.org
Web Address: www.eatright.org
 

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics sets standards for all types of prescribed diets. The organization produces a variety of consumer information, including videos. This group will help you find a registered dietitian in your area who provides nutrition counseling.


American Diabetes Association (ADA)
1701 North Beauregard Street
Alexandria, VA  22311
Phone: 1-800-DIABETES (1-800-342-2383)
Email: AskADA@diabetes.org
Web Address: www.diabetes.org
 

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.


Credits for Diabetes: Coping With Your Feelings About Your Diet

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Rhonda O'Brien, MS, RD, CDE - Certified Diabetes Educator
Last Revised June 24, 2013

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