Well, here we are again – in the midst of the holidays – the most challenging time of year for those who try to lead a healthy lifestyle – and especially challenging for those who have diabetes! The temptations are innumerable: Halloween candy, Thanksgiving pies, and now the never ending parade of Christmas cookies, boxes of chocolates, eggnog, etc. Unfortunately, diabetes does not take time off during the holidays.
The following strategies may be helpful in trying to keep your blood sugars under control.
- Get enough sleep. You should get at least 7 hours of sleep per night. Fatigue causes us to “let down our guard” and turn to quick energy sources for that boost.
- Keep to your structured meal pattern. Continue to eat something every 3-4 hours. Long gaps between meals can result in hypoglycemia (too low of a blood sugar) and extreme hunger, which can lead to overeating.
- Exercise. Regular exercise is especially important during this busy time of year. Make it a priority so you make sure it happens. A half hour of aerobic exercise can help lower your blood sugar approximately 50 points. Start your day with a brisk walk or a trip to the gym.
- Limit the alcohol. You don’t need the extra calories (100 cals / 4 oz of wine or 150 cals / 12 oz of beer), and it may result in an unpredictable drop in blood sugar. Instead, choose flavored seltzer, a splash of cranberry juice and lime.
- Keep the eating environment “clean.” I’m not referring to wiping the fingerprints off of the refrigerator door, rather, keep the temptations out of sight. No bowls of candy on the coffee table or plates of cookies on the kitchen counter. These temptations lead to mindless eating.
- Portion control! Have a sliver – not a giant slice of pie.
Don’t try to be perfect! If you do over-indulge – get right back on track the very next meal. Enjoy the winter holidays and stay healthy!
– Elizabeth Quigley, Resident Dietician and Diabetes Educator at DHAC
Diabetes Support Group at DHAC
Our monthly Diabetes Support Group is held every third Thursday from 10-11am. A different topic is discussed each month. This support group is FREE OF CHARGE and OPEN TO THE PUBLIC. We meet in the theatre room.
For further information about the Diabetes Support Group, please call 781-326-0605.