Managing Diabetes During the Holidays

Each November, American Diabetes Month is observed to draw attention to diabetes and its effects on millions of Americans. And each November, millions of Americans plunge straight into a holiday season full of festivities, travel and parties. For people with diabetes, finding ways to stay within a normal routine, yet still enjoy holiday treats, can be challenging.

Below are some tips to help you stay on track with diet, medication and lifestyle.

Managing diabetes during the holidays

It’s important to manage your diabetes during the holidays much like you do every day. Of course, you won’t always have control over the food you’re served, but by planning ahead, you’ll be ready for any challenge:

  • Eat, exercise and take your medication as close to the usual times as possible.
  • Headed to a party? Offer to bring a healthy dish.
  • Having a sweet treat is ok. Just cut back on other carbohydrates during the meal.
  • Don’t skip meals to save room for a feast. This makes it harder to control your blood sugar, and you’ll be really hungry and more likely to overeat.
  • If you slip up, simply get back to healthy eating during your next meal.

Stay in control by:

  • Having small plates of your favorite foods, then moving away from the buffet table.
  • Starting with vegetables to take the edge off your appetite.
  • Slowing down and savoring. Give your brain time to realize you’re full.
  • Avoiding or limiting alcohol. If you do have a drink, have it with food. Alcohol can lower blood sugar and interact with diabetes medicines.

Also, check your blood sugar more often during the holidays and adjust your medication if needed.

Stay active

Stay active during the holiday rush. Get moving with friends and family with a walk after a holiday dinner. Being active can help make up for eating more than usual, and it reduces stress during one of the busiest times of the year.

Get in your 40 winks

The holidays are a time when many of us go out more often and stay up later. Sleep loss can make controlling blood sugar more difficult. And when you’re tired, you’ll tend to eat more and go for high-fat, high-sugar food. Aim for seven to eight hours per night to guard against careless eating.

Armed with diabetes education and nutrition, you’ll be able to focus on what the holiday season is about: Celebrating and connecting with the people you love.

Expert care for diabetes and more

At Charles River Medical Associates in Framingham, our Diabetes & Nutrition Education program offers individual and group sessions, so you can learn in the setting where you’re most comfortable. We provide helpful tools to guide you in caring for your health, and the program is covered by insurance.

Whatever your health needs, our team of 75 skilled and compassionate providers offers care in a number of specialties, including internal medicine, pediatrics, family medicine, oncology, cardiology and many more. And we strive to make your health care as hassle-free and convenient as possible. We take the burden of navigating the complex details of insurance off your shoulders, and make your care accessible across nine Metrowest communities.

To schedule an appointment, call 508-848-2190 or click here to use our online form.