November is American Diabetes Month, and it’s no coincidence it falls at the start of the holiday season. Numerous upcoming celebrations will present plenty of opportunity to indulge in sugary, carb-filled treats.
If you’ve been newly diagnosed with diabetes, you’re probably not looking forward to the temptation that’s about to present itself. That’s why we’re offering these 5 tips to survive the holidays when you have this condition:
- Eat ahead of time.
If you’re invited over to dinner, make sure you eat a small, diabetes-friendly meal before you head out. Once you arrive, dine on micro-sized portions. This way, you’re not filling up on food that could give you a blood-sugar spike, but you’re also not hurting your host’s feelings by refusing their food.
- Check your blood sugar frequently
Even if you are watching what you eat, you should still keep a close eye on your blood sugar levels. This is especially true if you’re about to adjust your insulin dose or go driving. You may need to make allowances to account for changes in your exercise schedule or diet.
- Shift your food budget for special food
Does your auntie make a special nut roll every year that you just have to have? Adjust your food budget so you can include it in your daily carb intake. For example, if you usually have a certain number of carbs or sugar at dinner, cut back so that it’s lower than normal. That way, you can partake in your annual tradition!
- Be smart at parties.
Don’t sit near the buffet table, as this may present too much temptation. If you do partake of the food, use a napkin instead of a plate—you’ll put less on it. If alcohol is offered, temper how much you drink. Even moderate alcohol intake can affect your blood sugar level, so don’t drink on an empty stomach.
- Ask if you can bring a dish.
If your friends or relatives know that you’re dealing with a health issue, they’ll probably be open to you to bringing something that’s friendly to your condition. Take a fruit or veggie platter along to share with everyone, so you don’t feel so alone!
In the whirlwind of activities, we urge you to keep in mind what the season is about—and why you’re making steps towards a healthier self. Focusing on both these things will hopefully lead to a less stressful holiday experience.