Diabetes and Holiday Eating: Tips to Stay on Track
The holiday season, and its festive foods, are often the highlight of the year for many people. For those with diabetes though, it can be extra challenging.
Research from the American Heart Association and American Diabetes Association shows that half of those who have Type 2 diabetes feel that managing it during the holidays is more stressful than any other time of year.
At Texas Diabetes and Endocrinology, our team of board-certified endocrinologists are dedicated to helping our patients learn best practices for managing their diabetes and gain better control of their health, even during the holidays.
Our diabetes experts recommend planning ahead to help your glucose levels stay at a healthy level during the upcoming holiday season.
How can I manage my diabetes during the holidays?
1. Always eat a smart breakfast. Then make a calculated plan to balance your food intake for the rest of the day ahead, and plan accordingly if you will be eating at later times than usual to prevent low sugar episodes.
2. Get a workout in during the morning and take a walk at night. A workout earlier in the day will help to boost circulation and improve insulin sensitivity, allowing for easier management in the hours to follow. A nighttime walk at the end of the day after a big meal will also help to ease digestion.
3. Track your carbohydrate intake. There are many handy and helpful charts and trackers to help you gauge exactly what your carb intake is according to what foods you eat for each holiday, such as Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, and Christmas (courtesy of the JDRF). Find one that you like and stick to it for the next few months.
4. Know what you are eating. Don’t be afraid to ask your relative, host, or restaurant what ingredients (such as sugar, butter and cream) are in the foods you are eating, and how much! This knowledge can help you adjust your portions, or avoid some dishes, accordingly. Or, offer to bring your own low-carb, low-sugar version of something that will be served to share with others.
5. Consume alcohol in moderation and watch out for sugary mixers. Festive holiday cocktails are often loaded with sugary mixers such as juices and syrups. Avoid drinking on an empty stomach as this can also cause your blood sugar to drop, and always drink responsibly.
6. Test your glucose levels often. Keep as close to your regular testing schedule as possible, and anticipate potential blood sugar spikes and have a plan for when they occur.
Bring plenty of stabilizing snacks along and your insulin and other medications if traveling. You never know when travel delays may occur, and you’ll want to be prepared.
All that said, don’t forget to enjoy the holidays and those special festive treats when you can, and know that with a little planning and willpower you are able to get back on track with the next day and the next meal.
Contact Us Today to Learn More about Managing Your Diabetes
If you’d like to schedule an appointment with Texas Diabetes and Endocrinology and discover how our diabetes treatment services can help you, contact us at (512) 458-8400 or request an appointment online.
Posted on November 18, 2023
Posted on November 18, 2023
Posted on November 9, 2023