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Facing the Roadblocks to Eating Healthy With T2D

I admit it; I find it so hard to eat right with type 2 diabetes (T2D). What do you do when you find it challenging to do the right thing? Is there an easy answer?

What are roadblocks to eating healthy?

Seriously, I know I'm part of the problem. But there are many roadblocks to eating healthy. Factors like your budget, having to cook or meal prep, not liking certain foods, battling cravings, and even mood changes affect how well you stick to a healthier eating plan.

Food cravings with type 2 diabetes

Cravings make it difficult for me to eat healthy. I often crave sweets and bread. And even more so, it seems, after being on cancer treatment. But this has been an issue for as long as I can remember.

It could be partially because eating sweets used to be a reward or treat. I remember going for walks with my mom to get exercise, only to stop at the corner store for a Coke and candy bar. Am I blaming her? Certainly not. Actually, I ate healthier living at home than I did when I moved out. Mostly because I felt like, "I'm free! I can eat and do what I want now." While we did eat fried foods, we rarely ate out, we rarely had processed foods, and we ate a lot of vegetables, too.

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Don't get caught in self-deprecation

Another habit I noticed is being self-deprecating. If I eat sweets, my mind says negative things about myself. For example, I'll feel like a loser because I gave in to temptation. I wonder why I can't be like others who always eat right, and this isn't a good headspace.

Being hard on yourself can often lead to more overeating. Thinking things like, "I screwed up. Why not just totally give up?" can turn 1 misstep into totally going off-course.

"Slips aren't falls"

I've learned that you're not the sum of 1 mistake. I read in the book, I'm Glad My Mom Died, by Jennette McCurdy, the phrase, "Slips aren't falls." In this case, it was related to addiction. Every time the author would slip, her therapist told her that slips aren't falls. Just get up and keep going.

And that's important. I will slip up occasionally, but thinking I've ruined everything makes me want to eat more.

In a perfect world, we could eat anything we wanted without hurting our health, throwing off our blood sugar, or feeling depressed for doing so. And it's hard to eat right under any circumstances, not just with type 2 diabetes.

One thing you can do is to remember that critical phrase, "Slips aren't falls." You can make a healthier choice next time if you eat the wrong thing. Every day is a new day.

Strategies to stay on course

It's been helpful for me to keep a food journal so I know what I'm eating. Get with a friend who can hold you accountable or go through the healthier eating with you. You can also talk to someone who can help you feel better about your journey. Whether it's a good friend, a doctor, or a therapist - having someone to talk to can make all the difference in the world.

When it comes to meal prep, I could improve my planning. For now, I usually plan my lunches because I pack them for work.

Budget

However, budget restraints can be a more difficult roadblock to manage. Ordering my groceries online gives me a better idea of how much I spend each week by showing the total in the online cart before purchasing. I usually make salads with lean meats at home and buy sugar-free snacks. I also purchase bottled iced coffee since it's easier for me during the week. The iced coffee I enjoy has sugar-free sweeteners, so if you don't like that, many other options are available.

In summary, it's all about checks and balances, and knowing that a slip isn't a fall.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Type2Diabetes.com team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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