How Can Diabetics Survive The Holidays?

Diabetics need to watch what they eat on the holidaysThe holidays can be difficult. It is estimated that people consume an average of 5,000 calories on Thanksgiving. For those keeping track, that's over twice what someone should consume in a day! This is too much for anyone, however it can be especially problematic for people with diabetes. Diabetics have to be particularly concerned since the carbohydrate-rich meals will break down into sugar.

Here are 7 strategies to survive the holidays while keeping your diabetes in check.
  1. Shift your focus from food to family and friends Take the chance to reconnect with your those you don't get a chance to spend time with when you're busy at work.
  2. Everything in moderation - Don't overdo it! The holidays are full of foods that you likely only eat a few times a year. Eat slowly and savor the flavors. Keep yourself to reasonable portions and say no to seconds. Watch your carbohydrate consumption...especially if you're going for dessert!
  3. Eat before your holiday meal Skipping meals prior to your holiday meal is a poor strategy. You'll arrive hungry and will overeat. It will also make it difficult to keep your blood sugar in check.
  4. Bring your own dish You have diabetes, but not everyone else does. Don't rely on others making food suitable for you to eat. Offer to contribute to the meal and bring your favorite, diabetes-friendly dish to the meal.
  5. Be careful what you drink Remember that alcohol can play havoc with your blood sugar control. Drinks will also add lots of calories to your total intake. Limit yourself to just one or two drinks.
  6. Stay active The holidays are a busy time, but make sure you take time each day to exercise. This will help you control both your diabetes and your weight during the holiday season.
  7. Get back on track! If you fall into the holiday pitfall of overeating, don't beat yourself up. Stop eating for that night and resolve to wake up the next morning back in your regular routine. One slip up does NOT have to derail your health.
The holidays are a challenge to your diabetic health. Do your best to take care of yourself and be sure you stay healthy this holiday season.
Dr. Andrew Schneider
Dr. Andrew Schneider is a podiatrist and foot surgeon at Tanglewood Foot Specialists in Houston, TX.
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