During this holiday season, make a promise to put yourself first. As hard as you worked to stay on course with managing your diabetes throughout the year, the holiday season has the potential to throw you off your schedule. Travel, parties, big meals, snack food at the office and drinking all create a challenging environment for eating healthy. Add a busy schedule with little exercise, and it becomes a real effort to stay on track.
Here are some tips to enjoy holidays that feature a big meal:
- Eat breakfast or snacks earlier in the day and avoid the idea of saving carbs for the big feast later on. If you skip meals, it may be harder to manage your blood sugar.
- Limit the number of servings of starchy foods on your plate. It might be tempting to have some mash potatoes, sweet potato casserole and rolls, but try to choose just one of these items. Or just take a few spoonfuls or bites of each.
- Choose fruits and vegetables served raw, grilled or steamed. Avoid vegetables in creams, gravies and butter.
- Stick to calorie-free drinks such as water, tea, seltzer or diet sodas instead of punch or mixed drinks.
- If you choose to drink alcohol, limit the amount and have it with food.
- Enjoy your favorite holiday treats, but take small portions, eat slowly, and savor the taste and texture.
- After your meal, take a walk with family and friends. Exercise will also get you moving, keep you focused on your goals and give you a welcome break from being surrounded by treats. Exercise is also a great way to lower blood sugar levels.
- Most importantly, if you overindulge, do not beat yourself up. If you eat more carbs or food than you planned for, do not think you have failed; just make a plan to get back on track.
If you follow these strategies, you can maintain your blood sugar levels and enjoy the parties and gatherings along with family and friends. Just like everything else with diabetes, you have to take a few extra steps.
Our certified diabetes educators are here to help you manage your diabetes with a wide range of support services. Learn more about Diabetes Education Services by calling 440-354-1622.