The holidays are a time to gather with friends and family, which often means plenty of food and drink. People gain an average of 10 pounds between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. This is a strain on anybody’s health but can be particularly troubling for those with diabetes.
If you are living with diabetes, you can enjoy Thanksgiving dinner and holiday treats with everyone else, as long as you have a plan and stay on top of your blood sugar levels.
Follow these tips and be better prepared to celebrate the holidays.
Form a Game Plan
Avoid overindulging by controlling as much of the situation as you can. Mentally prepare by making a list of what you are most looking forward to eating. If you know you absolutely must have pumpkin pie, then plan cutting other things out of your meal like gravy and/or rolls.
You do not have to avoid all the things you love, just prioritize those dishes and cut out other ones.
Make Your Own Food
Bringing a side dish to a gathering is good manners and is also a great way to control what you eat. Try limiting the sodium content in your homemade dish or make healthy swaps like sweet potatoes for white potatoes or mashed cauliflower instead of mashed potatoes. That way you have a healthy dish and a grateful host!
One of the best ways to keep your blood sugar in target is to practice portion control. Half of your plate should consist of vegetables but don’t just fill up on vegetable casseroles. Steer clear of sodium-laden ham and opt for a leaner choice like white meat turkey. Another trick that will help keep you from overeating is to place your food on a smaller plate. Ask for a salad plate instead of a full-size dinner plate and limit your portions to one helping.
Make sure to drink water before and during meals. This will help your blood sugar and keep you fuller.
The holidays are no excuse for dropping your exercise routines. However, if you know your schedule will change then adjust your exercise. Start a new challenge like walking after meals or doing daily pushups. This is also a great time to include others in activities. Get active with your family or partner up with a friend and challenge one another.
Diabetes can feel like an extra burden during the holidays but with a little prep you can still have fun. Make sure to create a plan for meals, medication, sleep and exercise so you can get the most out of this time. Check your blood sugar often and have all your medications and devices on-hand.
Talk with your physician about any questions or concerns you have about managing your diabetes. To find a physician and schedule an appointment, call 918-579-DOCS (3627).