How to Manage Emotional Eating

How to Manage Emotional Eating

Eating is emotional for many, especially when you have a diagnosis like diabetes. But, by making the process of eating both methodical and purposeful, you can ensure the best blood glucose values and the best energy levels possible. Afterall, feeling your best is what all the fuss is about, right?

So, let’s talk about ways to put some method into the day-to-day to ensure emotion doesn’t take over your diet.

First of all, make your NutriBullet your friend. Place it at the center of at least one meal or snack a day. This should be a purposeful and methodical use of your time; ensure you get vegetables and possibly protein and chia and flaxseed in your NutriBlast. Fruit is okay, too, but vegetables are a must!

Next, plan to get in 30-50g of fiber for the whole day. Don’t forget, the average cup of fruit or vegetable has about 3 to 5 grams of fiber. A cup of beans, peas, or lentils can have as much as 10 grams of fiber. Reading labels as you plan your day can ensure you have things ready for this day and days to come.

If at least half of your breakfast, lunch and dinner plates are vegetable-filled and you add one to two fruits in the day, along with a few selections of high fiber starches like black-eyed peas or black beans, you will have a great start.

Right now you might be saying, vegetables at breakfast? What? Well, think about a vegetable omelet for breakfast. This along with a serving of steel-cut oats makes a great high-fiber breakfast. It is also very fast if you make the omelet and the oats once a week. Leave them in the refrigerator and reheat daily portions in the microwave. This would start the day with about 20 grams of fiber and good amounts of protein and vitamins.

My go-to snack is pre-shredded cole-slaw mix. I can easily mix up a fresh batch of sauce using plain yogurt or Helmann’s lite, seasonings like cayenne pepper and apple cider vinegar. After I dump the shreds in and mix, I have a great high-fiber snack. You can find recipes for a variety of mixture options online. Sometimes a sweet touch comes in the form of raisins added to the mixture. You can modify the treat to fit what you're hungry for. Another snack might be a bowl of black beans with a dash of hot sauce. If I haven’t kept the crock pot going or don’t have plastic tubs of beans frozen and ready to go, I will pull out a can of BPA-free beans and rinse and heat those as a snack. No matter the food choice, the goal is to eat with purpose: GET MORE FIBER!

By getting more fiber, you will have fewer emotional eating urges later in the day. The gut will feel satisfied and there will be no endless messages sent to the brain screaming HUNGER! HUNGER! HUNGER! You will not have releases of these pesky hunger chemicals.

Will this fix boredom? No. Absolutely not. So if you have a very busy day and you find yourself sitting in boredom on the sofa at night, this can easily lead to the desire to eat everything, including the kitchen sink. This is the time to find a method of occupying your time and your mind. This is important and deserves your attention.

For the person who has an overly busy and stressful job, food is comfort. YOU MUST FIND COMFORT SOME PLACE ELSE!

This will require planning. Before this moment occurs, have a plate of cut-up vegetables, a chopped apple, maybe a little cubed cheese and a few crackers. Maybe this is the time to make a Blast? Once this is done, vacate the room. There must be some place else, some one else, anything else other than food to comfort you.

Remember, you burn fewer calories sitting in front of the television than you do sleeping.

Good luck and enjoy your Blast today! Here is to great blood glucose values and feeling fantastic!

Registered Dietitian, Licensed Dietitian, Certified Diabetes Educator

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