How to Handle the Diabetes Food Police

Blog, Wellness

Have you ever been enjoying a party with friends or a family gathering when you hear a voice ask, “Are you sure you should be eating that?” If you have type 2 diabetes, it may seem that you’re not the only one monitoring your food and carbohydrate intake – you may have the Food Police watching (and commenting) on your every bite.

Sure, they mean well. But it can be exasperating to have someone second-guess your choices. How should you respond? With the season of family gatherings, social outings and office parties – not to mention general holiday stress – upon us, we thought we could offer up some of the best ways to keep your cool when dealing with outside “advice.” Here are a few solutions we think might help…

For family and friends you will be seeing often, you may want to find a time to sit down and explain that you have support from your doctor (or diabetes educator) and that you’re controlling your diabetes the best you can. You can refer them to our website, Diabetes – What to Know, so they can learn more about diabetes. Many questions and “suggestions” come from a lack of information about type 2 diabetes. When you received your diagnosis, you had to learn how to manage it – your friends and relatives will benefit from some knowledge as well.

As for those annoying and intrusive questions, be brief with your response. Simple answers such as “Thanks for watching out for me, but I’ve got this. I planned for this treat” will work for most questions. Then, just smile and walk away to enjoy your food. For your own mental health, try to keep your sense of humor. And don’t choose a social occasion as the time to try to educate someone – it won’t work.

Of course, it’s a good idea to try to be more vigilant about keeping your blood sugar on track this time of year. The best defense is a good offense, so be proactive about planning your meals, testing your blood sugar, getting adequate sleep and consciously trying to “de-stress” (taking a bath, doing some deep breathing, spending time with friends or whatever helps you relax) whenever possible. Hopefully, these suggestions will help you get back to ENJOYING the time with friends and family during the holidays.  Leave a comment for us if there’s a strategy that’s worked for you in dealing with the diabetes food police. Good luck!