Everywhere we look, it’s evident that the holiday season is almost upon us. Holiday parties, sweets, and treats can make it challenging for folks trying to lose weight or or maintain health. So, how does someone who has diabetes, high blood pressure, or other health conditions navigate through all the holiday feasting and drinking? Knowing what condition(s) you have and what your limits are is a great start. Here are a few tips on staying healthy while still enjoying the holiday season:
- Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated so that thirst is not mistaken for hunger.
- Eat healthy snacks between meals so that you are not starving at party time.
- Fill your plate with non-starchy vegetables (and then actually eat them!).
- Only eat until you are satisfied or full. Avoid the dreaded food coma.
- Just because it’s there, doesn’t mean you have to eat it.
- Take small bites and chew slowly. Sometimes it’s how you eat, not what you eat.
- If you want dessert, have it. Limiting yourself to a small serving of your favorite treat is better than feeling deprived, which can lead to overeating later.
For someone living with diabetes, the holidays can be especially challenging. For those who are insulin-dependent diabetics, these rules can help keep your blood sugar from spiraling out of control:
- Check your blood sugar more frequently.
- Stick to a regular meal schedule.
- Bring any necessary medications with you to parties.
- Add more vegetables and protein.
- Alcohol can actually lower blood sugars, so don’t drink on an empty stomach.
- Count sweets/dessert as part of your daily carbs.
- Be mindful of fresh fruit trays. Natural sugar is still sugar.
- Stay as active as possible.
Holidays can be fun for everyone regardless of any medical condition. Remember that enjoying family and friends should always be the main focus of the holidays, more than the food and treats.