DIABETES

Diabetes Burnout? Be Empowered For Control: On Track for the Long Haul: Mindful Eating for Success

Unlike the flu or an episode of fever, diabetes does not go away. Your every food choice matters. Learn about mindful eating to be prepared for the long run.
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Suffering from ‘Diabetes Burnout’? Be Empowered For Control Today.

Learn more about ‘Diabetes Burnout’ here! (Click to expand)

Diabetes Burnout is a natural and rational response to living with this demanding, long-term condition. It affects 44% of people diagnosed with diabetes and, has been consistently linked with higher HbA1c levels. Symptoms can include:

  • Feeling overwhelmed and defeated by diabetes.
  • Worrying about not taking enough care of your diabetes but unmotivated or unwilling to change.
  • Not caring about blood sugar levels.
  • Reverting to unhealthy behaviors e.g. poor diet.1

It is here to stay. Managed well, diabetes will not hinder your life. But, out of control, diabetes damages every organ system in your body – your eyes, kidneys, heart and more – accelerating the onset of disease and death.

Dietary control is one fundamental lever to help you stay within the zone of good control. But, every mouthful you eat, every beverage you sip has the potential to spike your blood sugar level. So, eating right for good blood sugar control is not a sprint but, more like running a marathon. So, sustained mindful eating will help you stay on course with your diet plan and beat the blood sugar blues.

Here are some tips to win in the long haul.

  • Will to Win. (click to expand)

  • A healthy life lived well is an important goal for everyone. Having diabetes does not have to stymie that.

    Every successful marathon runner will tell you that the battle is more in the mind than of the body. Once you have set your heart and mind on living a fulfilled life despite diabetes, you can summon your will to achieve.

    Identify what will help you succeed and endure – it could be assembling a great healthcare team that listens, guides and encourages; a diabetes support group that constantly shares and motivates; family and friends that understand and support your long-term glycemic goal. This is because, when it comes to changing and sustaining your diet it will require your full attention. From planning the menu, shopping, cooking, eating meals and snacks at home and eating out – stay in control but, lean in on all the support you can get.

    “Eat right, exercise more, get your health checked regularly and think twice about picking up that can of soft drink’, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong's to Singaporeans who want to beat diabetes. "It takes effort and discipline, but it can be done," he told the audience at the 2017 National Day Rally.

  • Know the Plan. (click to expand)

  • Your diet plan is unique. Once you have worked it out with your Dietitian and, it has been fine-tuned to deliver to your blood glucose goal, stay on course. Learn about the timing of meals and snacks and, how that needs to be coordinated with your prescribed medications. Know the food types and portions at each eating occasion and, also, the equivalent swaps. Plan how you can bring the diet strategies to life at home, at work and, when you eat out.

  • Prepare for Disruptions. (click to expand)

  • Life is unpredictable. When it comes to eating occasions, it is even more so. Your planned pre-packed meal may need to be abandoned for a sudden invitation to lunch from your Boss. Work deadlines may overwrite your preparations for a home-cooked dinner. Sometimes the problem could just be you – for example, you planned only to eat 3 seeds of durian but, looking at the generous portion before you, your resistance crumbles and, you indulge; your mum prepares your favorite dish and hovers around you to see you enjoy and, you give in.

  • Understand Why. (click to expand)

  • Adhering to your diet or goofing off the plan may have deep rooted reasons beyond just the availability of food or the disruptions caused by the occasions or people around you. Are you overeating because you are bored, sad or alone? Are you indulging because you are hanging out with foodies most of the time? Food is very tempting and, being surrounded by it makes it difficult to navigate. "The pleasures of a slice of chocolate cake are immediate, while the costs to health are hidden and set in much later, but with potentially severe consequences,” said Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam at a Ministerial Conference on Diabetes held in Singapore in November 2018.

    Keeping a food diary and recording what and how much you ate as well as the occasions, your feelings and emotions while eating, will help you identify your strengths and weaknesses so that you can shore up the right defenses for diet success.

  • Be Flexible. (click to expand)

  • Diet plans are good. But, being flexible in terms of implementing the diet plan will make you successful. Be knowledgeable and skilled about swapping foods and portions so that you can always stay in glycemic control no matter where and when you eat. Prepare for contingencies by carrying a healthy snack or beverage, don’t overeat even if the portion in front of you is large – ask for the extras to be packed for a later meal or snack. Expand and personalize this diet survival guide to ensure that overall you are in control.

  • Get Back on Course. (click to expand)

  • One-off disruptions will impact you blood glucose post meal but, it should not throw you off your path to success. But, if it happens frequently, you may need a new plan to stay on course with your diet plan and achieve your goal HbA1C. With diabetes, for success, the fable of the hare and the tortoise rings true. Small but, sustained changes will make an enormous difference.

  • Avoid Burnout. Get Support. (click to expand)

  • Speak up to your healthcare team and family when you feel upset and angry about the demands diabetes is placing on your food choices and lifestyle. It is natural to feel upset about diabetes. But, never give up, rework your goals and, allow for some balance. Vary your diet plan, explore new recipes and, eat out with a diabetes support group. Small wins each day are better than completely giving up.

Learn how you can be empowered with Diabetes Specific Formulas (DSFs)!

Eating healthy and well-balanced meals and snacks that are carb controlled and made up of low GI foods takes discipline but, it can be done. However, if you are not achieving and are struggling with blood glucose highs and lows, don’t beat yourself up about it. Maybe a diabetes specific formula as part of your individualized meal plan may help you achieve better glycemic control with greater confidence and ease.

Designed for people with diabetes, diabetes specific formulas deliver complete and balanced nutrition, and, are scientifically designed with slowly absorbed carbohydrates to be low GI as well. Here’s how you may include it in your individualized meal plan:

  1. Swap A Snack. Tempted by the calorie and carb laden snacks in the office? Meal delayed due to work load? Replace unhealthy, high GI snacks with an equal calorie portion of diabetes specific formula.
  2. Do a Partial Meal Replacement. Faced with a large unhealthy meal at a restaurant or constant office entertainment? Eat only half the portion and top up the remaining allocated calories for the meal (if any) with a diabetes specific formula.
  3. Replace an Entire Meal. Want to lose weight effectively to attain good blood glucose control? Find that you are either missing a meal or giving in to temptations at a meal time? How about giving up your main meal for a controlled portion of diabetes specific formula to save you calories. Sustained over time, you will see the extra pounds peel off.
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Reference:

1Source: Accessed on 23 November 2019 at https://www.diabetes.org.uk/Guide-to-diabetes/Life-with-diabetes/Diabetes-burnout

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