The festive season is upon us and those with diabetes feel concerned about the food-focused holidays because they are unsure about how to indulge in the tasty selections while avoiding bad news when they check their CGM.
Here, you will find five effortless ways to preserve your good health while fully participating in holiday dinners with your loved ones.
#1 Engage In Physical Activity Throughout The Day
As we know, burning off most of the calories you consume is a great idea, especially on gravy and carb-filled days. Even though the holidays are action-packed days, you should add exercise to your schedule. Adding at least 20 minutes of cardio at some point before your dinner is greatly beneficial to maintaining your blood sugar levels. It is also a good way of bringing the family together by engaging the whole family in some physical activity. They know you have diabetes and would love to help in any way, especially if it is also useful to them. You can even do something as simple as some push-ups and jumping jacks before and after your meal to help speed up your metabolism.
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#2 Stay Away From Your Favorite Dish At The Table
As funny as this sounds, it is a good way of keeping your temptations at bay! By avoiding sitting next to your favorite dish, it will be easier to resist eating certain foods that might be damaging to your health. Sitting in front of a dish that is healthy is a good way of avoiding a spike in your blood sugar levels. It will allow you to consume fewer calories and you will not be tempted to go for seconds! Good examples of dishes that would be favorable are salad, vegetables, or the main dish. Stay away from the stuffing, mashed potatoes, and any other calorie-filled foods. If you are not able to sit far from your favorite dish, pass it down the table so that it is at a distance.
#3 Rank Your Food
- If you really cannot gather the willpower to do #2, try to choose your food selection by order of importance.
- Using a scale of importance from 1-10, 10 being your favorite, serve yourself to your favorite dishes first to avoid saturating yourself with too many carbs.
- This will allow you to easily avoid overeating and wasting important calories on food choices that will not benefit you health-wise.
#4 Eat Regularly Throughout The Day
This might seem like a confusing idea when the whole point of the holiday dinners is eating together as a family, but eating a small meal before you attend your dinner is a great way of avoiding blood sugar level spikes. The belief that skipping a meal before a big dinner is a good way of saving calories is in fact not beneficial because it expands your appetite. As a result, you will overeat and increase your chances of damaging your health.
#5 Pace Your Alcohol Intake
- Consult a Sugar specialist doctor about whether alcohol is recommended for your specific situation. If so, there’s nothing wrong with enjoying a glass or two during the holiday festivities.
- Although it will be tempting to over-consume alcohol during this joyous event with loved ones, it is important that you monitor your alcohol intake and try to only consume a glass of wine or beer halfway through your meal to avoid increasing your hunger.
- Will you act on all five points? That is up to you to decide whether you care more about a few happy minutes of over-indulgence or living a healthier life. We highly suggest that you avoid taking the “all or nothing” approach. If you are not interested in all of these tips, make sure that you apply as many as possible while remembering that any of these steps is in the right direction.
- We wish you very Happy Holidays! We would love to hear about your dinner success stories after applying these tips!
Remember that the holidays last one week and Diabetes is a daily battle. Food is one of the biggest challenges and there is always a way to beat your diabetes!