This pandemic is incredibly stressful, not only from worry but also about terribly practical stresses like illness, loss of income or even death of a loved one. Is there an answer?
Hi Everyone, I’m Toby Smithson with DiabetesEveryDay. Today I’m going to touch on a sensitive subject. Stress. Stress has an effect on our diabetes management and stress comes in all sorts of ways. At this particular time, the scope of the coronavirus pandemic makes stress essentially unavoidable…uncertainty, fear, boredom, constant change….it’s the perfect recipe. My patients have been talking a lot to me about stress eating and it is an important issue because keeping our diabetes in check is very important right now. I can help with that
Stress can make us prone to eating more food than necessary or to choose foods that we call junk foods.. foods with little nutritional value. Here are a couple of really simple tips to help limit the stress eating:
- I’m a true believer in setting prompts and it works well for stress eating and can help put limits within your environment…like working from home.
If you work from home, set a designated area for your office space which does not include space for eating. And, set up a designated space FOR eating where you would eat your meals or snacks. Having these designated spaces will help you avoid distracted eating while you are working.
- Out of sight out of mind. Keep snack foods out of reach and out of sight. Make it difficult to access less healthy food to munch on. And stock your kitchen with healthy food choices like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, dairy and lean protein foods.
- Keep busy. If you are craving food to snack but your blood sugar is trending above target, it’s not an appropriate time to snack. Get busy and get busy with things that require the use of your hands so they aren’t free to snack. Sewing, riding a bicycle, walking on a treadmill or elliptical, using hand weights or even canned food as your hand weights or taking a walk with your dog and you can even take this further to keep your hands busy by carrying a poop bag as you walk the dog.
This ultra- stressful time will pass, but sometimes stress lingers. And, there are always other stresses. If you are finding yourself dealing with stress by eating more food, try one or more of my tips and please share your best tips below. Cheers to your health.