It’s a common misconception that food cravings come from malnutrition.

Although this can be true in some cases, food cravings can be attributed to many things, let’s discuss.

Skipping meals.

Randomly skipping meals is not intermittent fasting. If you plan to try any kind of fasting, it’s best to meet with your diabetes care team so you are properly prepared. Choosing to randomly skip meals will only cause food cravings, possible malnutrition and issues controlling target blood sugar levels. 

Before you try fasting, aim to eat 2-3 balanced meals per day, focusing on lean protein and non-starchy vegetables. It’s a great idea to record your food in an app like MyFitnessPal or Cronometer. Remember to monitor and record your blood sugar levels before and two hours after eating. Use this data to work with your diabetes care team to see if fasting is right for you.

Not getting enough protein.

One of the most common causes for snacking throughout the day and food cravings is protein deficiency. Protein should make up at least 10% of your daily calories, and up to 20% if you strength train or are over 50. Brain fog and trouble with hair and nails can also be signs of a protein deficiency. 

Change your focus to protein when eating and make sure you’re getting a good amount of lean protein each time you eat. Try adding a protein shake into your daily routine, Earth Chimp is a great choice.

Inadequate sleep.

Lack of sleep affects our body in so many ways. It can influence our brain and organ functions, mental health and can even cause food cravings. 

Make sleep a priority! For a good night’s sleep, don’t eat 2-3 hours before bed. Aim to get into bed at a reasonable hour and put the phone and electronics away. To unwind before bed, put a few drops of essential oil (like lavender or eucalyptus) onto your shower floor before taking a hot shower or light a candle in your bedroom before bed. 


Life is stressful. Life with diabetes is even tougher. Diabetes burnout is real, and it’s important you are taking care of yourself physically, mentally and emotionally. No one can pour from an empty cup, so take time to keep yours full.

Find some time to for yourself and just chill out, even if it’s just to take a couple of deep breaths. If you have more than 5 minutes, try one of these methods.

Restrictive diet.

Living with diabetes means we have to watch what we eat. But restricting too much can lead to cravings. Any diet you choose to follow must be sustainable. For example: cutting out carbs for life is not sustainable and is bound to lead to binge eating.

Plan and prepare to eat what you want. Make smart decisions and know where to cut to make room for higher carb foods. For example: skip the mac and cheese at dinner time to enjoy some cake for dessert. And of course not every meal can be planned, this is why it’s important to stay prepared. Be ready and have everything you need to test your blood sugar after eating and remember to keep water handy.

If your excess weight is causing health complications and you’re struggling to find a diet that works for you, contact Family Medicine Center to schedule a consultation with their Medical Weight Management team.