The holidays are a time for tradition with one of those traditions is usually an unwanted weight gain. People gain an average of 10 pounds between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. This is a strain on anybody’s health, but can be particularly rough on those with diabetes.
If you are living with diabetes, you can enjoy Thanksgiving dinner and holiday treats with everyone else, as long as you have a plan and stay on top of your blood sugar levels.
Follow these tips and you’ll be the exception to the 10-pound average.
Form a Game Plan
Avoid overindulging by controlling as much of the situation as you can. Mentally prepare by making a list of what you are most looking forward to eating. If you know you absolutely must have Aunt Mable’s pumpkin pie, then plan on it and cut other things out of your meal like gravy and/or rolls.
You do not have to make a vow to avoid all the things you love, just prioritize those dishes and cut out other ones.
Make Your Own
Bringing a side dish to a gathering is not only good manners, it’s also a great way to control what you eat. Try limiting the sodium content in your homemade dish or make healthy swaps like sweet potatoes for white potatoes or mashed cauliflower instead of mashed potatoes. That way you’ll get a healthy dish and the gratitude of your host!
One of the best ways to keep your blood sugar in target is to practice portion control. Half of your plate should consist of vegetables, but don’t just fill up on vegetable casseroles! Then steer clear of sodium-laden ham and opt for leaner choice like white meat turkey. Another trick that will help keep you from overeating is to place your food on a smaller plate. Ask for a salad plate instead of a full size dinner plate.
Make sure to drink water before and during meals. This will help your blood sugar and keep you fuller.
The holidays are no excuse for dropping your exercise routines! However, if you know your schedule will change, change your exercise too. Start a new challenge like walking after meals or doing daily pushups. This is also a great time to include others in activities. Get active with your family or partner up with a friend and challenge one another.
Diabetes can feel like an extra burden during the holidays, but with a little prep you can still have all the holiday fun. Make sure to create a plan for meals, medication, sleep and exercise so you can get the most out of this time. Check your blood sugar often and have all your medications and devices on-hand.
Talk to your physician about and questions or concern you have about managing your diabetes. To find a physician and schedule an appointment, visit mountainsidedocs.com or call 866-999-5162.