Rules Around Food that Do More Harm than Good


How many times have you sworn, pledged, and promised to never eat ________ ever again? How many times you vowed to never eat ice cream again or labeled potato chips as “forbidden”?

How many times have you created a rule for yourself around food in an effort to control your behavior around that food?

In life with diabetes, whether we say the rules out loud or not, we can’t help but see rules around everything we eat. We can’t help but feel like we shouldn’t be eating this and shouldn’t be eat that.

Those rules, unfortunately, tend to do far more harm than good in how we behave, think, and feel around food.

In our desperate attempt to gain control over our behavior around the things we “shouldn’t be eating” because they are “bad for diabetics,” we wind up giving food so much more power over us. We give food more and more control over our lives and our minds.

Here are a few common rules and thoughts around food that do more harm than good:

  • I shouldn’t eat carbohydrates whatsoever.
  • I shouldn’t eat late at night.
  • I’m not going to eat any _____ anymore, ever again!
  • If I eat any _____ then that means I’ve screwed up entirely!
  • I should try to eat as little as possible all day long.
  • I should try to avoid _____ because I love it too much.

If you took away the rules and that food wasn’t such an enticing, forbidden thing…would you binge on it? Or would you finally be able to enjoy that food without guilt, obsession, or shame? Would you be able to eat a serving, in moderation, take your insulin appropriately, and carry on with your life?

The idea of making a food that was once off-limits now a regular part of your week can be terrifying, but overtime the result can be that you are able to enjoy that food in your life with balance.

Think about the rules you’ve created in your own life around food, and read “Emotional Eating with Diabetes” to learn how to create new “rules” and a new perspective on how you feed your body, your taste buds, and your life with diabetes.

By Ginger Vieira
Certified Cognitive Coach, Personal Trainer, and Record-setting Powerlifter

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