Diabetes presents daily battles for those who suffer from any form of the disease. The lead-in to the winter season, including, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve sets up a temptation-laden entry into a time of year that’s well-suited for the comfort of starchy carbohydrates and sugary treats.
As diabetes specialists, the caregivers at Millennium Park Medical Associates are sympathetic to the season, and they’re ready to help their patients handle the challenges of blood sugar control all 12 months of the year. They’d like to offer up these tips to get through the holidays and winter indulgence that can throw your blood sugar control off.
Know what to expect
All of the seasonal celebrations come with their traditions and, deliciously, your favorite holiday foods. You know what to expect, so you can do some homework before sitting down to feast, pinpointing the foods may cause spikes in your glucose levels.
Sugary delights should be limited for virtually everyone, but much of the real danger for diabetics lies in carbohydrate-heavy foods. The carbs found in foods like white bread, processed grains, and white rice convert easily and quickly into sugar in your body.
Stay on schedule
Holiday feasts often spin the timetable of regular meals, accommodating your family’s travelers and chefs. These special meals may fall outside of your usual eating hours, such as a late lunch/early dinner on Christmas Day, for instance. If you can, plan around these odd times, while keeping as close to your normal schedule as possible to preserve your blood sugar cycle.
Skipping a meal in anticipation of a later splurge actually has a negative effect on blood sugar control, leading to unexpected glucose spikes. Deal with irregular intervals by taking smaller portions at every meal through the holidays, and maintain a regular eating cycle throughout the winter.
While the idea of arriving hungry at a seasonal feast is an inviting idea, it aggravates the dangers of a stirred up meal cycle. A handful of tree nuts or some carrots beforehand will take the edge off your hunger so that you don’t face the holiday table ravenous, while providing protection against blood sugar spikes.
A sumptuous spread laid out before you is enough to erode the strongest willpower. If you have a choice, take the smallest plate available and start with vegetables and salads first before moving on to lean proteins like turkey breast.
Filling up on these options acts as a self-regulator against other foods that may play havoc with your blood glucose levels. Even if you sample a sweet treat later, you’ll be better able to stop with just a taste.
Moderate your alcohol intake
When it comes to empty calories and hidden sugar, alcoholic beverages rank high on the list of offenders even before the effects of alcohol start to lower your inhibitions. Stick to a drink or two and switch back to water to keep blood sugar on track.
The colder months drive people indoors, making it more difficult to add exercise and activity to daily life. Make allowances for this. Bundle up and head out for a walk, or add a treadmill or other exercise machine indoors. Aerobic activity and muscle resistance routines are your partners in blood sugar control.
Don’t forget the other foundations of healthy living, including plenty of quality sleep, relaxation, and other stress reducers. When you need an assist to get through the season, contact Millennium Park Medical Associates, by phone or online, whenever you need a partner to help with your blood sugar control goals. Book your appointment now.