The year has flown by and Thanksgiving is only a few weeks away. For many, this holiday means overindulgence. For diabetics, it can be a very difficult time for many reasons. The hardest is resisting temptations. Who doesn’t love seconds or even thirds of their favorite dishes; i.e., mashed potatoes? An important thing to remember is “everything in moderation.” Here are a few tips to budget your calories and manage your blood sugar while still enjoying this wonderful time with family.
Stay on Schedule – Never Miss a Meal or Dose of Insulin
Set reminders on your smartphone for:
- Meals and snacks to avoid a blood sugar dip
- Blood sugar testing
- Insulin doses
Budget Your Calories: Indulge in Sweets and Treats in Moderation
You can indulge in a few treats, but make sure to budget for those calories. Work treats into your existing carbohydrate budget instead of adding to it. Stick with proteins, vegetables and salad at dinner. Pick your favorite carb or treat and enjoy it with your calorie budget for the day.
Enjoy Alcohol in Moderation
Never drink on an empty stomach, as this lowers your blood sugar. Research nutrition information in advance for your favorite libations to make good choices. It is recommended that women with diabetes have no more than one drink per day and no more than two per day for men. The serving sizes vary depending on the type of drink.
One serving is:
- 4 ounces of wine
- 12 ounces of beer
- 1 ounce of distilled spirits
Download Mobile Apps
Look for apps that help you count carbs for your favorite dishes, as well as how much insulin you need to take before meals.
Look for Lighter Menu Options When Eating Out
Choose dishes with less saturated fat, limit fried foods and sugars. Ask about substitutions. Most restaurants can accommodate your requests. Swap out butter with olive oil. Enjoy a baked or boiled potato in lieu of mashed potatoes or French fries.
If Asked to Bring a Dish, Cook a Light and Healthy One
This can put you at ease knowing that you can enjoy what you’ve prepared and takes out the guesswork of whether or not it is within your calorie budget.
Tips for Holiday Parties
Scan the table and look for vegetable-based options first, followed by meat or cheese. Use a napkin instead of a plate to keep your portions in check. Don’t socialize in front of the food table. Stay hydrated. Keeping water or a club soda in hand will also keep you and your hands full so you are less likely to overindulge.
Make it a priority to stick with your regular fitness routine while you are away from home. The holidays are generally the busiest time of the year for many people. You can break up your activity into 10-15 minute segments if it is not possible to get 30 minutes all at once.
Remember that there is a lot more to Thanksgiving and the holiday season than food. Focus on spending quality time with family and friends. Enjoy what you do eat and relax.