Managing diabetes during the holidays: 10 tips for a healthier holiday season

‘Tis the season for holiday celebrations and having diabetes shouldn’t stop you from fully enjoying the festivities.  The most important part in managing diabetes during the holidays is preparation and planning. Use the following 10 tips to help you plan for a healthy holiday season.

  1. Ask about the menu so you can decide ahead of time what you’re going to eat.
  2. Bring a nutritious dish to pass.
  3. Avoid overindulging by eating something healthy beforehand.
  4. You don’t have to give up all your holiday favorites. Instead, choose smaller portions to avoid overeating.
  5. Fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables so you don’t fill up on heavy, calorie-dense foods.
  6. Avoid heavy sauces, dressings and condiments that add fat, calories and sodium, but don’t provide much nutritional value.
  7. Share one portion of dessert with someone else.
  8. If you decide to drink alcohol, do so in moderation and only with a meal to avoid blood sugar fluctuations. Limit your drinks to no more than 1 per day for women and 2 per day for men.
  9. Avoid sugary beverages that add empty calories. Instead choose something like sparkling water or unsweetened iced tea.
  10. Remember to stay active! Go for a walk after dinner, turn on some music and dance, or keep moving by circulating the room and socializing.

If you’re traveling for the holidays, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have a list of suggestions so you can have a safe and enjoyable trip without worrying about diabetes complications. Click here for the full list.

For help with holiday meal planning check out the American Diabetes Association’s Holiday Meal Planning page.

What do you do to manage your diabetes during the holidays?

Photo credit: malloreigh

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