Holidays are often food focused, which can make it hard for diabetics to enjoy when they are thinking about what to eat, how much to eat and keeping diabetes management on track.
One key to dealing with holiday eating is to plan ahead. Planning ahead can help diabetics fend off stress and enjoy the day.
For instance, holiday meals can take place at odd times so plan in advance for how to make changes if the meal does not line up with regular meal schedule. For instance, if using insulin injections or a pill that lowers blood glucose, eat a snack at your normal meal time to prevent a low blood glucose reaction.
- Be physically active after a meal. Move away from the dinner table when the meal is done. And don’t go alone. Bring the family along for a walk or take the kids out to play touch football.
- Try healthier versions of favorite foods. Swap out high-fat for low fat. Steam vegetables instead of sauté. Use less sugar in pies.
- Try to avoid nibbling on food while cooking or waiting to eat. If you are hungry, make those snacks raw veggies with a little light dip. Don’t indulge in high calorie or fried appetizers.
- Be selective about the holiday foods to enjoy. Many are high in carbohydrates. Also don’t feel like everything has to be sampled on the table. Enjoy a reasonable portion of favorites and pass on the rest.
- Eat smaller portions, especially those high in carbohydrates, to keep the total carbohydrate intake as close to a regular day as possible.
- Eat those vegetables, especially non-starchy kinds that are low in carbs and calories. Vegetables help fill you up and prevent overeating.
By Anne Menzies, Registered Dietitian, ThedaCare Physicians-Waupaca