7 Tips for Managing Your Diabetes Over the Holidays

For many, the holidays are a break from the usual routine. It’s a time filled with celebrations and festivities that often center around food.

If you have diabetes, you may find it harder to enjoy this festive time of year. The disruption to your usual schedule and all the tempting treats and feasts may make it challenging for you to maintain control over your blood sugar numbers. 

Here at Healthstone Primary, Dr. Hector Fabregas and his team understand how hard it is to manage diabetes over the holidays. We want to share some of our best holiday tips for how you can manage your diabetes and still enjoy your traditions and favorite foods. 

1. Stick to your routine

During most of the year, you may keep your blood sugar numbers under control by following a consistent routine. You eat about the same amount of food around the same time every day, you take your medications as prescribed, and you exercise regularly.

Sticking to your usual routine, as best you can, may help you manage your diabetes over the holidays. If your holiday feast is out of sync with your usual meal schedule and it’ll be a long time between meals, have a small snack to keep your blood sugar levels in check. 

2. Keep your plate balanced

Diet is one of the primary tools we use to help you manage your diabetes. What you eat affects your blood sugar levels. During the holidays, use the American Diabetes Association’s (ADA) plate method to help you create a healthy, balanced holiday meal.

The ADA recommends filling half your plate with nonstarchy vegetables like salad, broccoli, and steamed green beans. Then, fill one-quarter of your plate with protein, such as turkey, roast beef, or fish. 

Finally, use the remaining one-quarter of your plate to portion your carbs, like your sweet potatoes or stuffing. 

3. Create a budget for treats

It’s hard to resist treats during the holidays. But many of these holiday goodies are filled with carbs and sugar.

If you’re counting carbs, budget in the treats. Cut back on the amount of carbs you eat at your meal to make room for the carbs in the holiday treat.

4. Focus on friends and family

Make your friends and family the focus of your holiday traditions, not the food. Instead of circling around the buffet table, play a game like charades or pictionary. 

To add more activity to your holiday fun, create a scavenger hunt or make an obstacle course. 

5. Stick to your exercise routine

Between the shopping, wrapping, cooking, and parties, we know time is a precious commodity over the holidays. But one of the best things you can do to manage your diabetes during the fun, and often chaotic, time of year is to stick to your usual exercise routine.

We recommend you aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise five days a week. If you can’t find 30 minutes of time to exercise, break it up into two 15-minute workouts.

6. Get enough sleep

The disruption in your routine over the holidays may affect your usual sleep schedule, which can affect your blood sugar control.

Sticking to your usual bedtime routine may help you sleep better during the holidays and help you keep your blood sugar numbers where you want them. To improve your slumber, take a bath or read a book (the print kind, not on a screen) before going to bed, and keep your room dark and cool. 

7. Take time for yourself

The holidays are a joyous time of year, but for many they’re also stressful. Chronic stress increases your blood sugar levels. 

Though your thoughts and energies may be on others during the holidays, it’s important to take some time for yourself to keep your stress levels under control. In addition to your exercise routine, try other stress-relieving activities such as yoga, meditation, or mindfulness.

Don’t let the holidays disrupt your diabetes control. We can help you devise a plan so you can enjoy all the festivities without the complications. Call one of our offices in Weston, Pembroke Pines, or Davie, Florida, or request an appointment online.

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