When it comes to diabetes management, following a strict diet is half the battle won. With the “diabetes diet” being infamous for sucking the happiness out of your meal, most people diagnosed with diabetes dread the idea of following it. If you’re finding it difficult to stick to your diet, here are a few tips that will do the trick.
1. Don’t Eliminate Sugar Entirely
If your food is “sugar-free”, check the label for its carbohydrate content, and make sure it does not exceed your prescribed limit.
A common misconception is that people diagnosed with diabetes are forbidden from eating sweet foods. However, it’s the calories or carbohydrates present in the sugar that is a cause for concern and not the sweet iself. Instead of cutting sugar from diet altogether, make sure you eat sugary foods but only as long as it does not increase your carbohydrate intake beyond the allowed limit. If you love sweetmeats, eat them, but in moderation. Or eat fruits instead, they can not only satisfy your sugar craving but are also healthier! Consult a nutritionist to understand how many calories or carbs your body needs and eat accordingly.1 2
2. Prepare Your Favorite Food At Home
You love french fries, which are considered one of the worst foods for diabetes. If you can’t resist the temptation to bite into one, (and honestly, it’s never just one) then you don’t have to deprive yourself of the joy of doing it. But, there’s a catch. Instead of buying fries, prepare them at home. Replace vegetable oil with olive oil, which is healthier option. Also, try baking them. By changing the method of cooking, you can steer clear of the saturated fats that may otherwise creep into your food. In fact, studies agree that the composition Acrylamide –a harmful chemical compound in potato chips – is lower in baked chips than the fried ones.3
3. Switch To A Smaller Bowl
Instead of giving your favorite food a leading role, reduce them to a cameo instead. When eating sweet or savory dishes, use a smaller bowl. By changing the size of your bowl to a smaller one, you’ll naturally eat less of the “unhealthy” food. At the same time, the inclusion of the food in your diet will help you satisfy your craving and trick your mind into following the diet without feeling sour about it. However, make sure you don’t give in to this “cheat” snack more than once a week.
4. Try A Mediterranean Diet
While there are a few foods that are off-limits, there is no dearth of food that’s actually great for diabetes! Instead of emphasizing on what you can’t have, explore the things you are allowed to eat. If you’re bored of the same ol’ “high-fiber vegetables and fruits,” try opting for diets traditional to the Mediterranean region. This includes hummus, greek omlet, seafood, and even moderate amounts of wine! Studies have, in fact, pointed out that a Mediterranean diet promotes weight loss and improves improving insulin sensitivity.4
5. Exercise For 30 Minutes A Day
It’s easy to lose interest in a diet if it shows no result. Often, people make the mistake of eating healthy and not exercising enough. To manage diabetes, it’s important that you burn calories and manage your weight. Exercise could also act as an external motivating factor to help you stick to your diet. Moreover, studies have confirmed that a combination of diet and exercise is far more effective in the treatment of diabetes than diet alone.5
6. Repeat The “I Can Do It” Mantra
If you tell yourself it’s hard to follow your diet, you’re only building a mental block for yourself. So, think that you can do it, and you will be able to! If you demotivated, set an achievable target. Since weight loss is an important aspect of diabetes mangement, work toward losing 3–4 pounds a month. As you see yourself reaching the target, you’ll feel more positive and feel motivated to follow your diet.
The key to treating diabetes is a healthy diet. Follow these tips to stick to your diet plan and make the most out of it!
|↑1||Can I Eat as Many Sugar-Free Foods as I Want? Joslin Diabetes Center.|
|↑2||The Truth About the So-Called “Diabetes Diet.” Joslin Diabetes Center.|
|↑3||Palazoğlu, T.K., Savran, D. and Gökmen, V., 2010. Effect of cooking method (baking compared with frying) on acrylamide level of potato chips. Journal of food science, 75(1).|
|↑4||Diabetes diet. University of Maryland Medical Center.|
|↑5||Orozco, L.J., Buchleitner, A.M., Gimenez‐Perez, G., Roqué i Figuls, M., Richter, B. and Mauricio, D., 2008. Exercise or exercise and diet for preventing type 2 diabetes mellitus. The Cochrane Library.|