During this holiday season make a promise to put yourself at the top of your list. As hard as you've worked to stay on course with managing your diabetes throughout the year, the holiday season has the potential to throw you off. Travel, parties, big meals, snack foods at the office and drinking all create a challenging environment for eating healthy. Add to that the days of travel with little scheduled exercise, and it becomes a real effort to stay on track.
- Eat breakfast or healthy snacks early in the day and avoid the idea of saving carbs for the big feast later on.
- Limit the number of servings of starchy foods on your plate, such as mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole and rolls or just take a few spoonful or bites. Choose fresh fruits and vegetables; Fill ½ your plate with raw, grilled or steamed. Avoid the creams, gravies and butter.
- Stick to calorie free drinks, such as water, tea, diet sodas instead of punch or mixed drinks.
- If you choose to drink alcohol, limit the amount you have with food. Women limit to 1 alcohol drink per day, Men should drink no more than two. (12 oz beer, 5fl oz. of wine, 1 ½ fl. oz. of 80 proof spirits, 1 fl. oz. of 100 proof spirits.
- Enjoy your favorite holiday treats, but take small portions, eat slowly and savor the taste.
- After your meal, take a walk with family and friends. Focus on your goals, and give you a welcome break from being surrounded by treats. Exercise is a great way to lower your blood sugar.
- If you overindulge, don’t beat yourself up. If you eat more carbs or food than you planned for, don’t think you have failed; just make a plan to get back on track the following day.
Adapted from Holiday Season Eating for people with Diabetes, by the American Association of Diabetes Educators.