The holiday season is right around the corner and with it comes delicious foods, scrumptious desserts and the temptation to put your health on the back burner.
If you are living with diabetes, the holiday season can be extra challenging when trying to keep your blood sugar levels in check.
Since November is National Diabetes Awareness Month, we wanted to provide you with some general guidelines to help manage diabetes during the holidays.
We’re constantly surrounded by homemade foods and delicious spreads during the holiday season. While it can be intimidating and seem like a daunting task to maneuver around these high-calorie dishes, there are ways to keep control:
- There’s usually a vegetable tray at gatherings, so start there. Fill your plate with a variety of vegetables and go easy on the dips and dressings. Starting with vegetables can help curb your appetite.
- If you’re still hungry, grab a smaller plate and fill it with the foods that you enjoy the most. Once your plate is full, step away from the buffet. This can help limit mindless eating and reaching for additional servings.
- Take time to enjoy the food that’s on your plate. Slowing down and savoring your food can help your brain realize when you’re full faster to avoid overeating.
As the popular saying goes, “Fail to plan, plan to fail.” This applies to holiday eating as well. Just as you work diligently to manage your diabetes on a daily basis, the same apply on once-a-year holidays as well.
Though you won’t always be able to control what foods are served at different events, you can follow these tips to prepare for these types of challenges:
- If you’re invited to a party, offer to make a dish to bring. This can be a recipe that you know is healthy and, of course, delicious.
- Avoid skipping meals prior to a big event. Though you might think you’re saving calories by fasting before feasting, it will actually be more difficult to control your blood sugar and may make you more likely to overeat at the party. Rather, maintain your normal eating schedule and practice the tips that we shared in the “Control” section.
Staying active is an important part of the equation all year long, but it’s especially crucial during the holiday season. Though we have the tendency to want to put physical activity on the backburner because of the excitement that surrounds this time of year, it’s important to make sure that staying active remains a top priority. Taking the stairs whenever possible or going for an extra few laps around the mall while shopping are just a couple of ideas to fit exercise into your busy schedule.
Keep these useful tips in mind to help manage diabetes during the holiday season. If you’d like to learn more, contact your primary care physician.