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How can I avoid emotional eating if I have diabetes?

If you have recently eaten and find yourself craving food, do a quick emotional check. Do you want food because you are hungry - or to fill an emotional need? Here are some tips to keep your eating in check:
  • Be honest with yourself about which emotions trigger you to eat.
  • Write a list of other things to do to fulfill that emotional need, e.g., call a friend, take a walk, drink a bottle of spring water, send an email to a pal, do a few yoga stretches, etc.
  • Assess your physical hunger using the Hunger-Satiety Rating Scale.
  • Remember that food will not make your emotions go away (it won't fix anything).
  • Track the food you eat, how hungry you are when you eat, and how you feel at the time. You may get a better idea of which emotions trigger eating when you are not physically hungry.
  • If you are having a hard time, reach out for help. Involve family and friends to help support your weight loss efforts. Support groups, therapy, and members of your health care team can also help.
Reza Yavari, MD
Endocrinology Diabetes & Metabolism

People with diabetes often face weight gain and obesity; overeating due to bad habits or emotional stress is common. Watch endocrinologist Reza Yavari, MD, discuss the dangers of emotional eating and provide tips for being more mindful around food.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.