Managing diabetes can be especially challenging during the holiday season. There are so many more opportunities to over indulge. The following 10 tips are designed to help you get through the holiday season sensibly – without deprivation or guilt. And most of all with blood glucose in good control.
1. Enjoy traditional holiday foods: Depriving yourself of special foods or feeling guilty when you enjoy them isn’t part of a healthy eating strategy. Forget the “all or nothing” mindset and enjoy small portions of the food you really want.
2. Slow down: Concentrate on eating slowly by putting the fork down between bites and savoring the taste and companionship during the meal. Eating slowly can also help you to stop eating before you feel bloated and stuffed.
3. Be selective: Choose to eat new foods rather than waste calories and carbohydrate on everyday foods, like mashed potatoes or broccoli.
4. Plan ahead: Eat a small snack about 1 hour before you go to a party so you don’t arrive too hungry.
5. Step away from the appetizers: Upon arrival at the holiday party, place appetizers on a plate instead of picking on foods here and there. You’ll be less likely to overindulge!
6. Drink to your health: Instead of a second glass of eggnog for 300 calories try sparkling water, seltzer or diet soda. Champagne, wine and alcoholic drinks are high in calories and can cause unexpected low blood glucose levels.
7. Scan the buffet: Before you make your food choices scan the entire buffet. Choose small portions of food you really, really want. Often just a taste will satisfy cravings.
8. Socialization is calorie free: Remember to enjoy other aspects of the holidays, such as socialization with family and friends, the spirit of the season, exchanging gifts, and holiday decorations.
9. Look your best: When you look good, you feel good. And when you feel good, you’re less likely to seek comfort in food.
10. Burn it up and bring it down: Balance the food aspect of the party with games or other fun activities. Plug in the Wii for a game of tennis or take a walk after the meal. Invite family and friends to participate. Physical activity will burn extra calories and help reduce high blood glucose levels after the meal.