For people with type 2 diabetes maintaining a healthy eating strategy during the holidays is difficult. Often we’re not in control of the food we’re served at parties and holiday dinners. We see other people enjoying tempting treats and travel takes us out of our normal routine. You can take steps to manage your diabetes during the holidays with these five guidelines set by the CDC.
Holiday proof your plan
We can’t always be in control of what we’re served, but we can control what we eat. Try to schedule your mealtimes close to your normal eating schedule. If your holiday meal is served later than your normal meal time, eat a small healthy snack to tide you over.
Don’t skip a meal to save up for the feast. It will be much harder to keep your blood sugar in control. You will also be more prone to overeating.
If you plan on eating sweets, cut down on other carbs (like potatoes and bread) during your meal. Even better, offer to bring a healthy vegetable dish along so you’re not tempted by unhealthy carbs.
Avoid or limit alcohol. If you do have a drink, have it with your meal. Alcohol can lower your blood sugar and interact with diabetes medications.
At the buffet
When faced with a delicious spread of holiday goodies, you can make the healthier choices much easier. Start with veggies to take the edge off your appetite. Then have a small plate of the food you like best and savor your food. It takes at least 20 minutes for your brain to realize you are full. Then move away from the buffet table so you don’t go back for seconds.
Have your favorites
No food is on the naughty list. Don’t be afraid to choose dishes you love and can only get this time of year. If you adore Aunt Sally’s pumpkin pie, slow down and savor a small serving of it. Then make sure you incorporate it in your meal plan.
Being active during the holidays is your secret weapon. Exercise can help reduce stress during this crazy time of year. It can also help you make up for eating more food than usual. Try getting your friends and family involved by taking a holiday walk together or playing a family game of flag football.
Get plenty of sleep
Going out more and staying out longer often means cutting back on sleep. Sleep loss can make it harder to control your blood sugar. When you’re sleep deprived, you’ll tend to crave more high-fat, high-sugar foods. Aim for 7-8 hours of sleep per night to guard against mindless eating.
It’s a good idea to stay on top of your blood sugar. Check it more often during the holidays. If you are taking medications, ask your medical care provider if the amount needs to be adjusted. If you need help managing your diabetes, contact EliteCare at (662) 348-3342. We’ll be happy to schedule an appointment.