How to Manage your Diabetes over the Holidays
With family and all of the different choices of great foods can be very tempting during the holidays. Managing diabetes is difficult year-round; however, during the holiday season it can almost seem impossible.
When you are traveling, hosting family and being surrounded by a variety of sweet treats and other snacks, it can be difficult to stay on track and keep your blood sugar under control.
First, you should try eating as close to your normal mealtimes as possible to keep your blood sugar levels stable. If a family meal is being served later than you are used to, it is a good idea to grab a snack at your regular mealtime and eat a bit less during the group meal.
If you want to grab a slice of pumpkin pie or other sweet treat, you may want to consider cutting back on other carbs (like potatoes or bread) during your meal. Half of your plate should consist of vegetables as they provide vitamins, minerals and fiber which will help manage your blood sugar. If you are hosting a holiday meal, you may want to consider providing extra vegetable, low- or no-carbohydrate dishes for your guests, especially if you know someone attending has diabetes.
You may be tempted to skip a meal so you can “save up” for a larger group meal later on, but it can backfire by making it harder to manage your blood sugar and potentially causing you to overeat due to hunger. You should enjoy the holidays and the seasonal foods they bring. Instead of overly limiting what you eat, be aware of your portion sizes and balance things out with larger servings of vegetables. Make an effort to eat slower which will allow your brain to catch up to knowing you are full.
As is true for everyone, it is best for individuals with diabetes to limit their alcohol consumption or avoid it altogether. It has the potential to greatly affect your blood sugar and potentially interact with the medications you take.
When you eat more and consume foods that are higher in carbohydrates, it is important to check your blood sugar more often than usual. This will allow you to stay on top of concerning changes and make modifications as needed.
Big meals can leave you feeling sluggish, but physical activity is very important for helping you stabilize your blood sugar and offsetting the effects of larger meals. Exercise can be fun and beneficial for the whole family, too. You can ask those around you to join walks after a big meal, or if you are pressed for time, you can take several smaller walks throughout the day.
With these tips, you do not have to let diabetes control your Holiday Spirit!