You have type 2 diabetes and you’ve been following your plan for healthy eating and exercise. You’re counting carbohydrates and making good choices to manage your blood sugar levels. Now, after weeks of following your plan, you’re craving something that’s not so good for you… is it okay to cheat?
Most doctors and diabetes educators agree that an occasional treat can be a part of your plan when managing type 2 diabetes. In fact, feeling deprived can actually trigger a binge that leads to more serious consequences, so including the occasional treat can be effective in keeping you on track.
So, how and when can you cheat? You should start by having this discussion with your doctor or diabetes educator. Remember, they’re on your team and they also understand that making changes to your lifestyle and diet can be hard. They will most likely give you the green light to have an occasional treat.
Here are 9 Tips For Treating Yourself:
- Treats should be the exception. 90% of your meal plan should be healthy and that’s a good thing because by eating treats infrequently, you also make them more special and will enjoy them more.
- Plan ahead for exactly what you’re going to eat and how much of it so you don’t end up with an impulsive binge you regret.
- Keep your treat portions small.
- On a cheat day, stick to your normal food plan and include your treat in the total carbohydrate count one of your meals. (Watch this video for more information to do that)
- Don’t skip meals or “hoard” your carbs for the whole day into one meal in order to have a treat. That can result in dangerous blood sugar swings.
- Choose something you love and savor every single delicious bite.
- Find ways to make your treat healthier – check out recipes that will give you that satisfied feeling but fit into your meal plan.
- Don’t eat a carb-heavy treat on an empty stomach because it can cause a rapid blood sugar rise.
- On a cheat day, drink some extra water and take a walk or get a little exercise before or after your treat.
Knowing how and when to splurge can help you stick to your plan on the other days, so go ahead and treat yourself!