Everyone knows that losing weight is hard. But plenty of people successfully take and keep it off. Your willingness to work with a weight-loss expert as part of your diabetes management team greatly impacts your chances of weight-loss success.
Here are some of the benefits of working with your entire diabetes management team. A doctor, diabetes educator, fitness expert or dietitian can:
- help you work out a meal plan that will provide all the calories and nutrients you need to keep your blood glucose within a healthy range
- help you set up a schedule for checking your weight and your blood glucose
- share the wealth of their experiences from working with many people who are losing weight
- help you feel more confident about how and what to eat, and how to prepare foods in healthy ways
- help you set a realistic weight-loss schedule
- help work through the emotional issues of changing your diet
- help you recognize your successes and overcome your obstacles
Examine the Emotional Issues Behind Weight and Eating
One of the keys to winning the weight-loss battle is understanding that many people eat for reasons other than hunger. Some of us eat when we feel happy, sad or upset. Others eat as a reward or when they feel lonely or bored. For a week or two, write down what's happening and how you're feeling when you eat. Then look back over your journal entries. Do you see a pattern? Do you eat when you're especially stressed? Do you use food to celebrate or to cope with difficult emotions?
Develop Coping Strategies
Once you know why you eat, it's easier to plan strategies to overcome those habits. Are there other ways for you to cope besides eating? The idea is to replace unhealthy habits with healthier ones. For instance, if you're feeling lonely, call a friend. If you eat when you're tired, take a nap or try meditating. When you're angry or frustrated, take a walk around your neighborhood. Write down healthier ways you can cope with your stresses.
Written by Bobbie Hasselbring
Reviewed by Beth Seltzer, MD
Last updated June 2008