How to Stay Healthy This Holiday Season with Diabetes
The holidays are a time for family gatherings, gift-giving, days off from work, and great food. A lot of great food. While the food served during the holidays may taste good, it isn’t always good for you. Individuals who struggle with diabetes may find it challenging to resist temptation and stick to their dietary routine. Like everyone else, they want to enjoy every aspect of the festivities, which often involve drinking eggnog, eating pie, and munching on sugar cookies. Unfortunately, this can result in an appointment at Marion County Podiatry Specialists due to diabetic neuropathy, a type of nerve damage that can cause pain, swelling, and other uncomfortable symptoms.
How can you safely navigate the holidays and still enjoy time with friends, family, and food? Our specialists have put together these tips on maintaining self-control without too much sacrifice.
Have a Plan
Having diabetes doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the festivities – you just need a solid plan. Some tips we find most effective are:
- Staying close to your dietary schedule – eat at the usual times to keep your blood sugar from spiking and have snacks in between late meals.
- Enjoy delicious, but healthy recipes – ask your friends and family to prepare a dish or two that you can dive into or bring one yourself.
- If you want to enjoy cakes, pies, and cookies, avoid carbs during your meals – and vice versa.
Drink Plenty of Water
It’s important to stay well-hydrated but make sure you are drinking the proper liquids, such as water and tea. As you already know, water won’t raise your blood sugar levels and it can get rid of extra glucose in your body. Even if you are busy this holiday season, try to drink the recommended amount of water. Drink even when you aren’t thirsty, because when you are, you may already be on the verge of dehydration.
Plain water doesn’t appeal to everyone. If you fall into this category, drink seltzer water instead. It’s a good replacement for sugary drinks, such as sodas, and has zero calories, carbs, and sugar.
Moderation is Key
You can enjoy a lot of the foods you did before you were diagnosed with diabetes, but remember the importance of moderation. It’s true, you can eat virtually anything if you don’t overdo it. If there are some foods you love too much to enjoy with discretion, you may need to avoid them.
Eating in moderation looks similar for everyone. Eat small portions and try to ensure half your plate is full of leafy greens. This leaves less room for proteins and complex carbs.
Moderation should also be applied with alcohol, as it can significantly affect your blood glucose. Certain drinks, like cocktails, are high in sugar, calories, and carbohydrates. Try to limit yourself to one drink a day if you are a woman and two if you’re a man. For clarification on how to drink alcohol during the holidays, speak with your doctor at Marion County Podiatry Specialists.
Check Your Blood Sugar
You will probably be invited to many holiday gatherings this month, where there will be alcohol, appetizers, meals, and plenty of desserts. Make a habit of checking your blood sugar after every meal. If you ate a big meal, remember that your body will digest the food slowly, so plan to check your blood sugar accordingly.
Manage Stress with Exercise
The holidays are synonymous with family fun but also stress. Don’t neglect any aspect of your health this holiday season. This not only includes what you put in your mouth but your physical activity, as well. Exercising is a great way to improve your mood, reduce stress, and stay in shape. Find time to go to the gym, take a yoga class, do a Pilates video on YouTube, or swim at the nearest pool.
Visit Marion County Podiatry Specialists
Even with diabetes, you can enjoy the holiday season with these basic tips. We also encourage you to visit the friendly staff at Marion County Podiatry to ensure your holiday eating habits don’t result in diabetic neuropathy. Visit one of our two Ocala locations, contact us, or call 352-351-4444 to schedule your appointment.