I am more than a little excited to bring you this Q&A by Ginger Vieira today. She is into three of my all time favorite topics: diabetes, emotional eating, and lifting heavy things. So I was very happy when she graciously agreed to do a Q&A for me here. She also has a new book out, Emotional Eating With Diabetes: Your Guide to Creating a Positive Relationship with Food.Check it out HERE on Amazon.
You can also hear her discuss her book and many other topics on this interview on Blogging Diabetes HERE.
Emotional eating is one of the many obstacles that can get in the way of us trying to control our diabetes, so we need all the experts we can find like Ginger to help us manage this problem. And without further ado, here’s what Ginger Vieira has to say.
Question: In your experience, how frequently is emotional eating a contributor of to the onset of type 2 diabetes? It is a given that type 2 diabetics have a genetic predisposition (I am the 4thgeneration in my family), but since emotional eating causes weight gain, is emotional eating what you would consider to be a major cause of obesity which can lead to type 2 diabetes?
Ginger Vieira’s Answer: I really can’t say or know what the contributor factors are to a person’s type 2 diabetes. The people I work with are type 2, type 1, and non-diabetic. The cause of type 2 diabetes is far more complicated (and unknown) that simply overeating or being overweight — today’s media has simplified it to this, but it’s grossly inaccurate.
In my experience, all kinds of people have habits that lead to overeat that can often be mislabeled as “emotional eating.” I talk in my book a great deal about the many habits that contribute to overeating and emotional eating that are very easy to change!
Question: How often do the foods we eat contribute to our emotional eating? Does having fast food or soda for example make us want to have more fast food and soda?
Ginger Vieira’s Answer: It’s not as much about what we eat as how we THINK ABOUT what we eat. If you constantly scold and shame yourself for eating something “bad” or “dessert,” then your relationship with that food is absolutely going to become distorted. Instead of being something you enjoy, that food can become something that falsely represents comfort, freedom, or even a way to hurt yourself or punish yourself.
Instead, my goal through my new book and through coaching is to help you take the rules and emotions out of food. To begin to see ice cream or pizza or candy as something you enjoy in moderation…and then move on with your life! Don’t beat yourself up for enjoying a treat by continuing to hurt yourself through binging.
Question: Do some people have a greater genetic predisposition to emotional eating than others? If so, do diabetics fall under this category?
Ginger Vieira’s Answer: I think what’s more important is actually if you have a predisposition or family history of depression, anxiety, and a family history of unhealthy relationships with food, alcohol etc. where you have learned that it’s normal to try to soothe your emotions with a substance of any kind.
Again, my book is really about many other things outside of emotions that can also lead to emotional eating, such as: not eating enough all day long because you’re trying to be “good” and binging late at night because you’re so hungry! Or making so many rules around food that you feel constantly restrained…and thus binge on food when you run out of will-power! These are a few. And yo-yo diets…oh yes, any severe dieting program will absolutely continue to distort your relationship with food and lead to further binging.
Question: How do you control your carb cravings that so frequently come up mid-morning, mid-afternoon, and at night?
Ginger Vieira’s Response: Ah ;) there’s an entire chapter in my book about this! It’s not about controlling cravings, it’s about feeding your body properly (not perfectly) so that your metabolism is well-fueled, you’re getting what you need, and your body doesn’t need to crave something more because it’s getting the energy it needs!
Too often, we crave sugar because we aren’t getting enough protein. Sugar is a quick source of energy to your body, but protein is a long-lasting and much more sustaining source of fuel.
Also, I make sure to give myself freedom to enjoy sweets like ice cream a few times a week! In moderation, I count the carbohydrates, and I take my insulin. Life goes on! I don’t scold or blame myself because I planned to have the ice cream. I made room in my day for it. And I enjoyed it!
Learn more about Ginger Vieira at her website, EmotionalEatingWithDiabetes.com.