Do's and Don’t's for Successfully Managing Your Diabetes During the Holidays
The holidays are often referred to as “the most wonderful time of the year”, however, for those with diabetes, the holidays may also be one of the most difficult times of the year. With travelling, holiday parties, shopping for gifts and an abundance of sweets and treats everywhere you turn, it can be challenging to stick to a healthy eating and exercise plan, but with a little bit of pre-planning, it is possible to enjoy the holidays and keep your diabetes in check. Here are a few dos and don’ts:
- Do focus on the reason for the season: Try to keep the focus on your family and friends instead of food. Spend time playing games, volunteering, or spending time outdoors enjoying the winter weather.
- Do plan ahead: If you are headed to holiday get-togethers, rather than worrying about what will be served, offer to bring your favorite diabetes-friendly dish. If you are travelling this holiday season, plan ahead to make sure you pack all necessary supplies and medication.
- Don’t skip meals: It may seem tempting to skip meals or snacks earlier in the day to “save” calories and carbs for a large holiday meal later on but meal skipping can often lead to over-eating and will also make it harder to keep your blood glucose in control.
- Do be picky about what you put on your plate: Don’t feel like you need to try everything that is served at holiday buffets and parties; select just a few of your favorites or foods that you may only get a chance to eat during this time of year. It is ok to enjoy your favorite foods but do so in moderation. Try to eat slowly and truly enjoy each bite of the food that you are eating.
- Do think your drink: Choose low-calorie drinks such as water garnished with a fruit slice, sparkling water, unsweetened tea or diet beverages. When it comes to alcoholic beverages, remember that they can cause hypoglycemia so make sure to talk with your health care team about whether alcohol is safe for you.
- Don’t Forget the Physical Activity: Even though the holidays are a busy time of year, it is important to find time for staying active. Aim for at least 150 minutes of physical activity each week. To help fit physical activity into your busy schedule, try parking far away from the door at the mall, take the stairs instead of the elevator or bundle up and go for a walk with your family after eating your holiday dinner.
- Don’t Let the Season Stress You Out: Stress can cause the release of “fight or flight” hormones which can result in increased blood sugar. To avoid getting stressed out this season, focus on spending time with friends and family and make sure to get plenty of rest and regular physical activity. Also make sure that you don’t sacrifice good nutrition during this busy time. Eating healthy and sticking to your meal plan will help you to feel your best and keep your blood glucose in check.
If you are looking for a healthy and diabetes-friendly recipe to serve at your holiday party, try this one for
Salad On a Stick.