Eating problems and eating disorders are common among teenagers, especially those with diabetes. If you are preoccupied with thoughts about your weight or about eating, if your eating is out of control, or if eating problems are interfering with your ability to manage your diabetes, here are a few suggestions that can help:
1. First, give yourself credit
Learning about diabetes and keeping up with your self-care are hard work.
It can be tough to balance managing your diabetes with the other challenges of adolescence. Try to keep the big picture—healthy living—in mind, rather than focusing on just your weight or body shape.
2. Don’t binge eat
Overeating and binge eating often occur in response to dieting and trying to restrict the amount and types of food that you eat. In other words, by trying to diet, you can actually trigger out-of-control eating, which can make it difficult to keep your blood sugar levels stable. If you are having problems with binge eating, try to include a larger range of foods in your meal plan, and don’t skip any meals or snacks. Talk to your diabetes care team about helping you tailor your insulin plan to your eating patterns.
3. Write down your goals
If you want to make changes in your diet or diabetes management, write down your main goals, and then break these goals down into smaller steps that you can incorporate gradually. Remember that no one is perfect and that making small changes in your eating habits and diabetes management can make a big difference in your overall health.
4. Ask for some support
Think about how your parents, friends and diabetes care team can best support you as you develop healthful eating habits and manage your diabetes. Tell them clearly what helps you feel most confident and able to meet your health goals, such as giving you more positive feedback, offering practical help with meals and insulin and paying less attention to your weight and diabetes.
5. Get help from your physician or diabetes care team
They are the best resources for information and support. Go to them with questions or problems, and be sure to meet with them on a regular basis.