How to Overcome Five Roadblocks to Healthy Eating – Diabetes Daily

Most of us strive to eat healthy, exercise, drink plenty of water, and get an adequate amount of sleep, but sometimes life gets in the way. Okay, a lot of the time. But it’s important to remember that those of us with diabetes share a condition where these decisions really matter. Type 2 diabetes development and progression – around 462 million people have type 2 diabetes worldwide – is strongly correlated to how well people take care of their health. And for people with type 1 diabetes, like me, our management success is largely determined by these kinds of everyday decisions.

Eating healthy may be the best single thing that anyone with diabetes can do for their health. A healthier diet will lead to better blood sugars and a lower risk of diabetes complications. It could help you improve other risk factors, lose weight, and feel better too.

Here are 5 common roadblocks to eating healthier and what you can do about it:

Hectic schedule
Whether you work long hours, have too many errands, or are busy studying for final exams, it’s hard to find the time to shop, let alone cook. Try finding inexpensive local food delivery services to save time, and only purchase dinner food to save money. You can also meal prep once a week to save time and have fast and healthy options on hand throughout your busy week. In order to keep your calories in check, portion out your favorite snacks so you can grab them and know you won’t overeat.

Unhealthy food is cheap, but you get what you pay for. Shopping at bulk wholesalers like Costco can help you save money on your favorite foods with quality ingredients. You can also look on company websites for coupons: recently I emailed a brand of food that my son loves and to my surprise, they sent me a bunch of $5 dollar gift certificates. It doesn’t hurt to ask! Also, look into whether you qualify for The Supplemental Nutrition Assitance Program more commonly referred to as food stamps. And buy smart – find products that can give the most meals for the least amount of money.

Stress and Depression
It is hard managing a chronic condition when you are stressed, and it’s just as hard to eat well, exercise, and do everything else on the healthy well-being checklist. If you are overwhelmed, please ask for help. Make a list so you can better manage your time. Find someone to speak to. But make sure stress does not come in the way of taking care of your body! And that includes eating healthy and exercising so you can feel your best.

Unfortunately, not everyone really knows how to eat healthily, or really understands what the benefits are. Some people don’t have ready access to sources of quality ingredients such as good grocery stores or farmer’s markets. Not everyone can afford to order low-carb snacks from Amazon. Some don’t even have a kitchen to cook in. Add in the financial strain that having diabetes incurs, and it can be hard to find the money to justify pricier, healthier foods.

Some of these problems aren’t easy to solve – we can’t put a nice grocery store next to your house. But our learning center can help: we have articles on understanding macronutrients, how diabetes affects weight loss and dieting, and grocery shopping on a budget, among many other topics.

Maybe an even better idea: be sure to join our community forum for tips on what to eat for your weight and blood sugar goals. Our community members have so much wisdom! Or, join diabetes support Facebook groups for suggestions. If your insurance will cover it, consult a diabetes educator or a nutritionist who can help guide you on your journey. As for finding products, many brand websites have store locators. Get creative- do a swap with a diabuddy who lives somewhere else, with different products available, and send each other a care package!

Social Life
It sometimes takes willpower while at a dinner or party to make healthy choices. I try to opt for protein and veggies as much as possible. Focus on the good conversation and company on hand instead of on the snack table. Make sure to eat a high-protein snack before you go so you’re not starving, you’re more likely to make smart choices this way. You should also try and be aware of the diabetes-friendly options at all of the restaurants near home and work. Most places will have options that can work with your diet and blood sugar management strategies, and it’s a lot easier to stick with those better choices if you don’t have to make a last-second decision. There is no reason we can’t enjoy ourselves while eating wise too!

Sometimes healthy eating is challenging, especially when life gets in the way. But if you can figure out what is stopping you from eating healthy, then you can troubleshoot and come up with a plan to defeat those obstacles.

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Read more about diabetes burnout, diabetes diet, diabetes management, exercise, Intensive management, low-carb diet.

Author: Mabel Freeman