It’s hard to believe, but the holidays are lurking around the corner.  If you have diabetes, this time of year can be very hard to control your diet and health.  Even if you don’t have diabetes, all of the parties, treats, drinks and meals can sabotage even the best healthful eating habits.  Piedmont Family Practice in Warrenton, VA offers nutritional counseling through Joanna Waterhouse, RN, CDE, CPT.  In addition, PFP also offers Ideal Protein, a weight loss protocol.

From October 31 – January 2nd, many events come and go that can be an enjoyable celebration for everyone.  However, if you have diabetes it is important to remember to count carbs, monitor your blood sugar, enjoy all foods in moderation, take your medicines (if prescribed) on time and stay physically fit. Also, remember that alcohol does affect your blood sugar and adjust your food intake accordingly.

Top 11 Tips for Staying Healthy Through the Holidays (With and Without Diabetes):

  1. Just because you are busy, do not skip meals. Enjoy a good breakfast and eat throughout the day to keep your energy level up and avoid overeating.
  2. Maintain your schedule – Even on your holiday and days away from work, try to get up, eat, exercise and take your diabetes and any other medications about the same time as you usually do.
  3. Pace yourself through the holiday gatherings and focus on quality time spent with family/friends rather than on the food alone.
  4. “Budget your sweets and treats” – To keep your blood sugars from skyrocketing, include sweets and treats as part of your carbohydrate budget — not in addition to it.
  5. Be creative and tweak traditional recipes to make them healthier.
  6. If you’re going to a holiday dinner, ask if you can bring a dish — one lower in calories and fat — such as a vegetable tray or vegetable-based appetizer. There are many delicious, diabetes-friendly recipes.
  7. Be party smart! Enjoy some of the vegetable-based appetizers first, then the meat or cheese appetizers. Place your appetizers on your napkin instead of a plate and you’ll be less likely to overfill it. Another tip: don’t stand near the buffet table or food when talking at a party. It’s also important to stay hydrated. Drink water or club soda with a lime or lemon twist. Keep a calorie-free drink in your hand to keep your hands busy.
  8. Alcohol in Moderation! Recommendations for alcohol for those with diabetes are no more than one drink per day for women and no more than two per day for men. (One drink equals 4 ounces of wine, 12 ounces of beer, 1 ounce of distilled spirits.
  9. Plan an activity that is physically active such as a family walk after the holiday meal
  10. Remember that all foods can fit into a healthy diet. The key is enjoy a variety, balance and practice portion control.
  11. Check your blood sugar frequently – If you are taking insulin or medications that lower your blood sugar, check your blood sugar more frequently during the holidays, especially before driving a car or adjusting your insulin doses.

You can keep your weight and blood sugar levels under control during the holidays using these tips.  However, if you need a little extra guidance and support, or need a program to follow to keep you on the straight and narrow, Piedmont Family Practice is here to help with kind, informative, and non-judgmental Care Teams. For more information about diet and nutritional counseling, please visit: Joanna Waterhouse, RN, CDE, CPT or Ideal Protein Protocol