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Healthier Holiday Season Tips

The holiday season is upon us, and many of us are looking forward to the festivities that this time of the year brings. Holidays are often centered on food so it’s no surprise that people tend to gain weight at this time of year – in addition to having their blood sugar run higher than usual. People eat and drink to celebrate with their friends and family and also in attempt to satisfy themselves if the holiday brings them sadness. If your blood sugar is consistently elevated during this time of year it not only wrecks havoc on your body but it may make you feel sluggish and moody, both are not conducive to enjoying a very festive time of the year!

You can enjoy the holiday season without gaining weight and mismanaging your blood sugar. But how?

  • Think! Before sitting down to the feast, consider what will raise your blood sugar and decide what foods are most important to you.
  • Eat a consistent amount of carbohydrates at your meals and snacks. If you want the pumpkin pie or ice cream cake then replace your potato and bread with the dessert or have a more moderate amount of the dessert, bread and potato.
  • Use salads and vegetables (non-starchy ones) as a filler to supplement all the starches you will most likely have.
  • Take a walk between courses to bring your blood sugar down and help with digestion.
  • Exercise prior to your large meal so your blood sugar will be in better control.
  • Try to take your blood sugar before your meal and 2 hours later so you can make the best choice at future holiday meals.
  • Be aware of the portion sizes. Look over the food exchange list so you don’t pile too many mashed potatoes on your plate.
  • Eat more slowly to allow yourself to savor the flavors. Remember, it takes 20 minutes for your body to realize it is full. Give your body a chance to be full.
  • Pre-plan your meals and decisions. Once you smell the food it’s harder not to overindulge.
  • Have fun and enjoy this special time!

Marci Sloane, MS, RD, LD/N, CDE, is a registered and licensed dietitian/nutritionist and certified diabetes educator with a degree in Nutrition and Physiology from Teachers College at Columbia University. Marci is the author of The Diet Game: Playing for Life! More about Marci Sloane

The goal of Destination Diabetes is to be a useful and credible resource for the more than 20 million children and adults who have diabetes in the U.S. and their families. Destination Diabetes provides information on a wide range of diabetes health and wellness topics. Articles are written or reviewed by diabetes advisors who have experience in diabetes education.