Manage diabetes during the holidays

December 21, 2015 Providence Health Team

The most wonderful time of the year has arrived. For many of us, it’s also the least healthy time of the year. If you have diabetes, you may find the holidays – with all of the sweets and soirees – particularly daunting. Fear not: Here are a few ways to stay on top of your diabetes.

Focus on folks, not food

The holidays should be about spending time with the people who mean the most to you. Try to place more emphasis on the company and less on the spread. Enjoy hanging out together, whether you are volunteering, caroling or trimming the tree.

Don’t overdo it

Just because you’re at a get-together doesn’t mean you have to go back for seconds or eat too many carbs. If you’re going to drink alcohol, don’t forget to eat beforehand to help prevent low blood sugar later. Remember, alcohol contains a lot of empty calories, so opt for lighter beverages or sugar-free mixers when possible. Women should try to stick with one drink, and men should have no more than two.

Bring your own

Ask the host if you can bring a dish to the party. That way, you won’t have to worry about what’s on the menu. Make note of how many carbs are in a serving and how much food a serving contains.

Keep moving

Between your social calendar and to-do list, this time of year can get especially busy. It’s important to stay active. Don’t let exercise take the backseat. Try to schedule a fitness class or a 5K walk/run with a friend. If that’s too much of a commitment, find small ways to incorporate activity into your day.

Get back on track

Don’t beat yourself up if you overindulge on carbs or calories. If you notice this happening at a party, stop eating and get back to mingling. Monitor your glucose levels. Return to your regular eating habits the next day and consider some extra exercise.

If you’re traveling during the holidays, check out these helpful tips for staying healthy on the road.

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