6 Holiday Eating Tips
It’s that time of year again! The time to celebrate the holidays with family and friends… and eat lots, and lots of food! How will you prepare? Here are a few tips for getting through the holidays without getting off your "diabetes track."
1. Plan ahead
Often we have conversations with our loved ones about where Thanksgiving, Christmas, or other large holidays will be hosted, and what items will be on the menu. Try to think of the best menu options for you before getting there. If you set some goals and expectations for yourself, you may be less likely to throw it all out the window once you arrive. If there doesn’t seem to be enough options for you, bring two or three dishes to pass that are diabetes-friendly. Chances are other people will dive in as well!
2. Pace yourself
Appetizers, soups, salads, sides, main dishes and dessert. Those are a lot of courses to tackle. So how can you limit yourself and still keep your blood sugars in check? Try not to overeat just because it is available. Use your usual meal and snack times as a guideline. If you graze all day long, it will be more difficult for your blood sugar and medication management.
3. You are not alone
Don’t forget, just because other people don’t have diabetes, doesn’t mean they don’t also have health goals. Weight maintenance, high cholesterol and high blood pressure are all reasons to be mindful of healthy eating choices. Friends and family members may see you putting your health first and decide to follow suit! Be a trendsetter at this year’s holiday meal by choosing vegetables, and smaller portions.
4. Host the meal
If you are too worried about all of the food options that will be available at someone else’s house, consider hosting the holiday meal in your own home! You can’t control what everyone brings to pass, but you will be able to control the way your appetizers, sides and main dish were prepared, making it easier to find a diabetes- friendly choice.
5. Try the plate method
It can be hard to remember how many carbohydrates are in green bean casserole since that is not a daily side choice. When you are in that position, try using the plate method. Fill half of your plate with leafy green vegetables, a quarter of it with lean protein, and the other quarter with your starchy vegetable or carbohydrate of choice. If you still feel hungry, opt for another large serving of leafy green vegetables to fill you up and keep you satisfied!
6. Don’t lose your exercise routine
With road trips, plane trips, and house guests, it can be easy to lose your gym or physical activity routine. Try not to use the holidays as a reason to quit. You will find that continuing your routine makes it easier to stick with it, and you will feel more confident with yourself when you know you have been physically active. Ask your family to join you so you aren’t losing any quality time with them.
Last but not least, enjoy yourself. Be kind to yourself. No one makes perfect choices all the time. But having a healthy mindset is the first step toward maintaining your diabetes goals throughout the holiday season. Happy Holidays!
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