Holidays are a time of parties, family gatherings, and other special events, many of which are accompanied by big meals, plates of cookies, and other sweet or fattening goodies that can be difficult to resist.
While it’s always best to avoid overindulging, if you’re one of the nearly 40 million Americans with diabetes, it’s essential.
Dana Trippi, DO, and the team at Premier Physicians Weight Loss & Wellness in Las Vegas, Henderson, and Reno, Nevada, help patients manage their diabetes effectively during the holidays with customized diabetes education.
In this post, we offer some simple tips for navigating this holiday season.
Holiday buffets can be filled with culinary landmines. Filling up on vegetables (without sauces) and salad is a good way to avoid eating too many things that could make glucose management more challenging.
With a big meal in your future, it can be tempting to balance your calories and carbs by skipping a meal earlier in the day. However, doing so can cause problems with insulin and glucose.
Stick to your regular meal schedule to keep glucose levels steady. If your event happens later in the evening, opt for a small snack at your regular dinnertime.
If you want to treat yourself to dessert, cut back on bread or other carbs during your meal or avoid them completely. The same is true if you plan on having alcohol.
Many side dishes and desserts include ingredients that can quickly interfere with your diet plan. If you’re not sure what’s in any dish, ask. It might feel a little intrusive to question a host about a recipe, but a good host will absolutely understand — and your body will thank you for it.
Invited to a potluck? Bring along a healthy dish. That way, you know you have at least one option with known ingredients to fall back on.
Managing carb intake is easy when you make the food or know the ingredients. For those times when you’re not sure, a carb-counting cheat sheet of holiday foods can be invaluable. You can find downloadable options on this website or through an internet search.
If you have diabetes, you know the importance of regular glucose monitoring. During the holiday season when treats are prevalent, monitoring becomes even more critical. If you don’t wear a continuous glucose monitor, carry supplies with you.
Regular physical activity is especially important during the holidays when overeating is a real possibility. Regular exercise helps balance glucose and insulin levels and keeps weight gain at bay. And it’s a great way to reduce stress that leads to overeating.
Mix conversation and socializing with your meals, and before you know it, you’ve lost count of what you’re eating and how much. Mindful eating means paying attention to every bite, even if that means pausing your meal to engage in conversation.
Also, watch portion sizes and eat slowly to give your stomach a chance to realize it’s full.
Alcohol can affect your insulin levels, but the effects can be hard to predict, especially for drinks with hard alcohol or mixers. When possible, opt for a nonalcoholic beverage, and when you do indulge, limit your intake, monitor glucose frequently, and have healthy snacks on hand.
One of the best ways to enjoy festivities without overindulging is to plan and host your own party. By choosing the menu, you don’t have to worry about what’s in the food and drinks. Plus, you might learn some tasty recipes along the way.
Diabetes can cause serious complications if not managed properly, but our team can help. To learn more holiday tips or to optimize your diabetes management plan, call Premier Physicians Weight Loss & Wellness or request an appointment online today.