Managing your diabetes can be difficult in the best of times, but it can be especially tricky during the holiday season. The foods that can wreck your carefully balanced blood sugar levels are everywhere. From pumpkin spice lattes to Christmas cookies, the temptations are endless.
Fortunately, with a little bit of thought and planning, it’s possible for diabetics to make it through the holiday season unscathed. Here are five tips for managing your diabetes, brought to you by the expert team at Sulkowski Family Medicine in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.
Staying at a stable blood sugar level is all about your plan. Look ahead to see what each day is going to hold food-wise, and plan accordingly. You don’t have to deny yourself all of those special treats — just do everything in moderation.
If you plan to have a couple of sweets at a family party, for example, cut back on the carbs during the meal. Also, it’s a bad idea to skip meals to save up for a big, festive dinner. If you don’t eat regularly, your blood sugar goes wild, so keep to your normal schedule as much as possible.
That said, it’s also a good idea to engage in activities that don’t involve food. When your family is sitting around eating extra dessert, head outside with the kids for a game of football. Plan an outing to a corn maze or a fall festival where you don’t have to eat. Be creative!
The holidays are a time when it’s easy to get out of your normal exercise routine, and that's why it’s so important to stick with it. Not only can physical activity help keep your weight down, it can also help you manage your blood sugar levels.
It doesn’t have to be complicated. Just grab a friend or a sibling at a family gathering and head outside for a walk. You can catch up while you get moving.
Because your blood sugar can get off track quickly, stick to your regular schedule of testing. You may have a good idea where your levels are during your normal routine, but the holidays are anything but normal.
When there are so many foods around that you don’t normally consume, it’s especially important to keep track of your levels. This helps you adjust quickly if things begin to head south.
Another blood sugar killer? Lack of sleep. You’re going out more and staying out later during the holidays, but you still have to get up in the morning. If your sleep suffers, it’s more difficult to manage your blood sugar and more likely you’ll mindlessly eat high-fat, high-sugar food.
To help keep your blood sugar stable, shoot for seven or eight hours of sleep a night.
If you need help managing your diabetes, contact Sulkowski Family Medicine by phone or with our convenient online scheduler. We’re with you every step of the way!