The holidays can be a stressful time for everyone, but it can be especially hard for those with diabetes. The holiday festivities can be particularly hard when you have to closely monitor what you eat and how often you eat it. Here are some holiday tips to help you navigate.
Make a Plan
Whether you are planning out your meal, what time you are eating, or the exercise you are getting in between them, it’s important to have a plan.
Find out what will be served during meals and figure out what your priorities will be. Pick your favorites and what you just can’t do.
If you like sweet potatoes better than mashed potatoes, pick sweet potatoes and forego the mashed potatoes. If you like stuffing more than rolls, instead you can pick stuffing. Think about your selections, and how you will set up your plate when you get to the holiday table.
Drinking some water before you sit down to have your meal will help you to feel full before you get to the main meal. This will likely lessen your desire to overdo it when it is time to move onto heavier meals and desserts.
You should also feel more satisfied with a smaller amount of carbohydrates than you might have had if you had not had some water first. This is a great tip for use at all meals, not just the holidays.
Don’t Skip Meals
It’s tempting to skip meals so you can have whatever you want throughout the day, but it will always do more harm than good.
It’s best to eat regular meals at your regular scheduled time to keep your blood glucose on track. Skipping meals when you have type 2 diabetes can cause your brain to signal to your liver that you are starving. In response to your “starving” state, this leads to your liver dumping glucagon into your system.
Since you don’t make enough insulin, or aren’t able to use it well, you can get a high blood sugar from not eating. Eating regular meals and snacks will keep your blood sugar steady, and keep your liver from being unruly.
It’s important to have your own set of holiday tips that you follow. Figure out a system that works for you and stick to it.