Instead of beating yourself up, get back on track with these solutions from Diabetic Living dietitian Dr Kate Marsh
Question: ‘I’ve put myself on a strict diet to help better control my type 2 diabetes. However, I frequently find myself sneaking “forbidden” foods… and then feeling guilty about it. What can I do?’
Answer: Placing restrictions on what you’re eating and drinking can seem like an easy way to fast-track good health, but it can end up backfiring. Why? ‘It encourages you to engage in an “all or nothing” approach, in which you think of your eating as being “good” or “bad” and deny yourself favourite foods, which only makes you want them more,’ says Dr Kate Marsh, Diabetic Living dietitian and diabetes educator. She suggests:
Avoid skimping on kilojoules
One of the reasons you’re overindulging in sugary or fatty foods could be because you’re not eating enough. While individual needs vary, a good rule of thumb is to aim for about 8700 kilojoules each day if you want to maintain your weight, and 6000 kilojoules each day if you want to lose weight. (Speak to your dietitian to determine if these figures are right for you.) To satisfy your hunger, put a mix of proteins, fruit, vegetables, dairy products and grains on your plate.
Make it difficult to overindulge
Keep your kitchen stocked with lean options and consider cooking a week’s supply of freezable meals such as stews, soups and pasta sauces in advance. ‘Preparing meals ahead of time and freezing them for busy weeknights will help you avoid the takeaway temptation,’ says Dr Marsh.
Strike a balance
While aiming to eat healthily most of the time is a vital part of managing type 2, it doesn’t mean you need to give up all the foods you love. ‘Reduce the portion size and set limits on how often you eat them,’ advises Dr Marsh. So, rather than having a bowl of ice-cream every night after dinner, treat yourself to a decadent gelato on the weekend instead.