The eggnog. The cookies. The luscious cheesecake calling you from the party table. The extra glass of champagne that says “Sip Me”. When you have diabetes, the holidays can certainly be a challenge!
The worst thing you can do?
It may seem like a good idea to ditch your diabetes over this season of tarts and shortbread, but your diabetes will be waiting for you when you’re done. And unfortunately, all those sweets can have a pretty sour result on your body.
1. Pre-Eat: It’s super easy to over-indulge in all the tasty dishes served this time of year. One way to prevent these temptations is not to skip a meal that day. Skipping meals will make you feel ravenous and binge eat later, not to mention the havoc it wreaks on your blood sugars.
Eat every 3-4 hours and include healthy snacks. You’ll prevent harmful blood sugar swings and overeating. Before leaving home, make sure to eat a low-calorie, healthy snack to avoid overeating later. Try low-fat cheese and crackers, yogurt and fruit or a handful of almonds or walnuts with a serving of fruit.
2. Spend Your Calories Well: Before you fill up your plate, survey the buffet table. This way you can plan out what you’ll choose and make some decisions as to where you’ll "spend your calories". If you’re eyeing that decadent dessert (and you know you’re going to have it), then choose fewer carbs at your meal to balance it out. Ask yourself, “Do I really need to have one of everything”? Try choosing your top 5 faves to put on your plate. It also helps to steer clear of the food table during the evening to avoid these tasty temptations.
3. Petite Portions: With so much variety and calories everywhere you look, keep your portion sizes petite. Choose a smaller plate and you’ll trick your eyes to think you have a full plate. When you’re done eating, wait a few minutes to see if you’re satisfied. Chances are you will be.
4. Drink Sensibly: Yes it’s true; alcohol contains excess calories and no other nutrition (the barley and grapes don’t count here!). Keep in mind that drinking alcohol before a meal can make you feel hungrier and more likely to overeat. If you’re choosing an alcoholic beverage at your meal, reduce the calories by adding carbonated water to wine for a refreshing wine spritzer or add sugar-free mix to hard liquor. Pass on the sweet liqueurs and coolers as they’ll spike up your blood sugars. Be sure to stay hydrated with plenty of water.
5. Stay Physically Active: No time to go into the gym? No problem! Stay active in other ways. Take a walk, go swimming, or if you are in a cold climate, go skating or sledding (walking up those hills is great exercise!) or alternatively partake in a good old-fashioned snowball fight if your in the Northern Hemispere.
So this holiday season, don’t ditch your diabetes. With a few tricks up your sleeve, you can have your cake (or buttertart) and eat it too!
Article sourced from Bev Carson & Ginette Markham