The holiday season is a time to bring friends and family together to celebrate traditions – and that means gatherings filled with feasting. For loved ones living with diabetes, navigating social events that revolve around hearty foods and delectable desserts can be especially challenging.
Whether you’re attending a neighborhood potluck, visiting a new restaurant with friends, or cooking with your grandchildren, anticipating potential obstacles and planning ahead will help you stay on track. Keeping a few strategies in mind will help you manage your blood sugar levels so you can focus on enjoying the festivities.
Be selective. Before putting foods on your plate, do a once-over of the dinner table to see what dishes are available. Select only the items you know you will enjoy, and refrain from eating “filler foods,” such as bread or chips.
Manage your portions. Planning on saving room for dessert? Limit the amount of carbohydrates you enjoy beforehand. Use your best judgment to gauge portion sizes. Remember that one cup is about a fistful of food, 3 ounces is about a palm (of your hand) of food, and one tablespoon of food is equivalent to the size of your thumb.
Drink smart. Alcohol is often present during celebrations and you can take part in enjoying a drink or two, just as long as you remember to count these calories towards your overall total. Choose drinks that have fewer added sugars and carbohydrates. During the meal, don’t forget to drink water! Staying hydrated is linked to consuming fewer sugars, salts, and calories.
Refrain from skipping meals. Although it might be tempting to skip an earlier meal to “save your calories” for a particular meal, you may actually feel hungrier when the time comes and over-eat. Furthermore, a skipped meal may cause your blood sugar levels to fluctuate.
Stay active. With shopping, gifting, and spending quality time with friends and family at the top of your list, exercise may be the last thing on your mind. However, staying active makes your body more sensitive to insulin, so it’s especially important to get your steps in this time of year. Schedule regular times for physical activity every week; consider involving friends or family, if they are around.
Dedicated Diabetes Care from Presidio Home Care
Presidio Home Care Aides have been providing specialized care to individuals living with diabetes since 2009. To assist with managing your loved one’s blood sugar levels, our Aides can plan out balanced meals, customize exercise routines, provide medication reminders, and even help with blood sugar tracking. Contact Us today to learn more.