You’re pregnant and diabetic and are craving fast food like mad; you do NOT have to cave to your junk food cravings!

There’s a way to kill these cravings before they put you in a strangle-hold.

First off, you should realize that the way to control junk food or fast food cravings during pregnancy is similar to how non-pregnant women should subdue these cravings.

There are minor differences in the solutions. For instance, a woman who’s not pregnant but craving fast food may find that going out for a hard run will likely subdue the cravings.

But a hard run is not a viable option for most pregnant women.

What if you’re pregnant and have diabetes?

The presence of diabetes doesn’t really change what an expectant woman should do to take control of her fast food cravings.

However, Dana Simpler, MD, an internal medicine physician with Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore, puts it this way:

“A pregnant diabetic woman should not give in to junk food cravings, because she cares about her baby. Just as we expect smokers to stop smoking when pregnant and drinkers to stop drinking when pregnant.

“A study showed that the more out of control a mother’s blood sugar is during pregnancy — the lower her baby’s IQ!

“And that is just one of many complications of being diabetic and pregnant. So, if you feel the urge for the wrong food, smack yourself in the face and go eat an apple.”

The idea, then, for the diabetic pregnant woman is to think about what eating fast food will potentially do to her baby. This reflection will help motivate her to make the right food choice.

But sometimes the craving can become overwhelming. Here are some additional facts for the expectant woman to reflect upon:

• Eating junk food while pregnant can cause the baby, when older, to become a junk food addict (Muhlhausler et al).

• Sleep deprivation can lead to cravings for fast food (Greer et al).

So a pregnant diabetic woman’s first line of defense in controlling junk and fast food cravings is to remind herself of the damage that this can do to her unborn baby.

Next, make an effort to get a good night’s sleep. Do not do anything physically or mentally stimulating within two hours of bedtime.
• Lay out your clothes for the next day.

• Complete your “to do” list for the next day.

• Complete other tasks for the next day so that you’re not ruminating about them once your head hits the pillow, such as figuring out directions for an appointment somewhere, or putting together a shopping list, etc.

• Just get as much done as possible so that once you go to bed, you can relax instead of fretting about all the things you have to do for the next day.

Kill Fast Food Cravings – Whether You’re Pregnant and Diabetic or Not

• Never grocery shop or run errands on a hungry empty stomach. Eat healthy food (yogurt, whole fruit, fruit/vegetable smoothie, chicken or egg salad, boiled potato, nuts) before leaving the house.

• Pre-plan your breakfasts and have them prepared as much as possible the evening before so that next morning you’re not tempted to dash out and get a fast food breakfast.

For instance chop some vegetables up the night before and crack a few eggs, then put it all in a bowl in the refrigerator so that next morning your vegetable omelet is ready to pour into the skillet.

• Buy a NutriBullet or similar device so that when a fast food craving hits, you can instead create a fruit/vegetable smoothie.

• Of course you need to have a ready supply of your favorite fruits and vegetables on hand.

• Have cans of tuna on hand plus whole grain bread so you can immediately make a tuna sandwich when a craving for fast food strikes you.

• Do not ignore hunger. When hunger strikes, you MUST eat.

• Never feel entitled to overeat junk food by thinking “I’m eating for two.”

• Never use the excuse of “I’m under a lot of stress” to overeat unhealthy food.

• Allow yourself a single portion of a “junk” food every day.

About that last bullet point, that may seem contradictory to all the advice here, but if you attempt to avoid junk food at all costs, you’ll be setting yourself up for a junk food binge.

If you know that later on in the day, that brownie is coming, or that small bowl of ice cream, the two cookies, the butter-slathered white bagel, the peanut-brittle or the candy bar, you will be much less inclined to give in to the temptation to take off for the nearest fast food place.

Ideally, you’ll want to limit unhealthy food to only a few times per week, but this just might not be possible for most expectant women. We need to be realistic. But one brownie doesn’t have to become half the pan!

Being pregnant and diabetic is no excuse for avoiding exercise. Ask your OBGYN about pregnancy exercise guidelines for diabetics, then follow them.

You absolutely SHOULD exercise during your pregnancy, even if you’ve never done any structured exercise before. It’s safe as long as you follow the guidelines.

Working out will help subdue fast food and sugar cravings and will help keep blood sugar under control.

dana simpler, MD

Dr. Simpler received her medical degree from University of Maryland School of Medicine and has been in practice for over 20 years.
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.