The holidays are here, but if you have diabetes, you may be feeling a little less excited and a little more stressed than most. This time of year, with family gatherings and parties, long stretches away from home, and a seemingly non-stop barrage of desserts, it can be especially difficult to manage your disease. However, with a little planning and these helpful tips, you can enjoy holiday meals and traditions without losing control of your diabetic game plan.
Fit exercise into the festivities
Take a stroll after a holiday meal or before you attend. Ask family members to join you to keep the conversations going.
Bring your own dish
You can make it easy on yourself and your host by bringing a diabetic-friendly recipe. Better yet, you throw the party for complete control!
Scan your options and choose wisely. See one of your favorite desserts? Cut the carbs somewhere else, like passing on mash potatoes for instance. Also, take smaller servings of what you want. Keeping track of your portion sizes and foregoing seconds will help you to not overindulge.
Curtail your appetite
Have a diabetic-friendly snack beforehand so you don’t arrive hungry, and drink plenty of water, too. Keep snacks with you in case meal times don’t go as planned. Focus on eating your salad or veggies first so you’re less tempted to eat too much of the main course or dessert. IMPORTANT: Do not to skip meals so you can binge later. This is a dangerous tactic that can throw your blood sugar for a loop!
Skip the sugar (and the toast)
Avoid alcoholic beverages as much as possible as these can affect your condition, as well as your decision making abilities! Also, stay away from sugary drinks and opt for diet choices instead.
Stick to your routine
Make sure you keep your glucose levels in check by monitoring your blood sugar regularly and often. Holidays can throw you off your routine – try setting a notification on your phone.
Your brain takes a while to catch up to your stomach. Eat slowly and you won’t overstuff yourself by the time you realize you’re full.
Don’t let guilt drag you down
If you do end up overdoing it, don’t quit! Just get right back to your normal routine and don’t waste any time dwelling on the past. Looking forward to the future is exactly why you’re managing your diabetes in the first place!