The Holidays are a great time to spend time with loved ones, share stories, give gifts, and of course—enjoy delicious food you may not get to eat during the rest of the year. If you’re struggling with high blood glucose, Christmas treats can feel overly tempting and daunting. Managing your blood glucose, even during the holidays, is possible—without feeling sick after enjoying your favorite treats. Here are a few tips to navigate Christmas for diabetics—so you can enjoy your holiday with less worry and more joy.
Christmas for Diabetics
There are a couple of things that will help you gear up for the holiday season so you can enjoy your favorite meals and time with friends and family without worry. And no, you don’t need to give up your favorite treats and drinks.
1. Stay Stocked
Before heading out to holiday parties, off on a vacation, or even just spending time at home—make sure you have all the medications you’ll need for the holidays. Ensuring you have what you need on-hand, means you won’t need to worry as much, while you’re enjoying your holidays.
2. Check Your Blood Glucose Frequently
Your schedule and diet are likely to be very different during the holiday season or during Christmas parties and events. Make sure you’re checking your blood glucose regularly and monitoring more closely than you normally do until you’re able to get back on your regular diet and schedule.
3. Keep Moving
Even during the holidays, it’s important to stay active and get some exercise. While it will definitely require a little extra effort, make sure you find time to hit the gym or go on a walk to stay active. You can even make staying active fun. If you like skiing or snowboarding-hit the slopes. Get out on a winter hike, or join in dancing or playing with the kids at your next Christmas party.
4. Drink Water Before Your Meal
Enjoying a glass of water before your meal not only helps you stay hydrated (which assists with a host of bodily functions) but also makes you feel more full before your meal—reducing your appetite and post-meal blood glucose spike.
5. Watch for Hidden Sugars
You’re probably familiar with what’s in your everyday, regular meals, but during the holidays it can be easy to accidentally eat more sugar than you anticipated when they’re hidden in condiments and other sauces. Limit these when you can, and check sugar content before you indulge.
6. Monitor Portion Sizes
This doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy what you like, but monitoring your portions will let you know how much you can expect your blood sugar to spike. Load up on veggies first to fill you up, and keep your blood glucose lower while you enjoy other dishes you love.
7. Watch Your Alcohol Intake
Alcohol can affect your blood glucose and the effects may be unpredictable, especially if you are drinking more than you typically might. If you do drink—make sure you eat something before you drink. Drinking on an empty stomach can lead to low blood sugar, which can lead to nerve damage if left unchecked.
8. Pick Healthier Options When Eating Out
The holidays are the busiest time of year for restaurants and eating out while Christmas shopping (or just to avoid preparing more meals at home) is incredibly fun and tempting. When you do go out—opt for healthier choices to help you better manage your health during the holiday season.
And Finally…Don’t Feel Guilty.
Christmas is a time for celebration. Following these simple tips around Christmas can help you enjoy the food you love while keeping your blood sugar in check so you feel your best. Even if you forget to drink that extra glass of water before your meal, or indulge a little more than you intended—don’t feel bad. You’re allowed to enjoy the holidays. Incorporating even a few of these tips can make Christmas for diabetics much more manageable.
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