Having a chronic illness and managing symptoms during the holiday season can feel like an overwhelming task. Actively managing diabetes symptoms and maintaining a stable blood sugar level is no different. There are a variety of factors that can lead to issues with either high blood sugar or low blood sugar. The four most common factors are non-diabetic friendly foods, alcohol, holiday travel, and stress. Let’s talk about some practical habits that you can put in place to overcome these factors and survive the holiday season with diabetes.
The Four Steps of Diabetes Management
When it comes to managing your diabetes being prepared is one of the most important factors. Taking steps and implementing healthy habits aid you in properly managing your diabetes. The holiday season makes it easy to become sidetracked. This leads you to become a little less severe and strict when it comes to those healthy habits. While there is nothing wrong with enjoying the holiday season you must properly manage proper blood sugar levels. By keeping and following these simple and easy steps you can ensure that you are enjoying the holidays while still managing your condition.
Step One: Be Mindful of the Foods You Consume
A common factor that can lead to blood sugar spikes is consuming high sugar and high carb foods. Think pumpkin pie and dinner rolls. Planning ahead and tracking how many carbohydrates you are consuming with each meal can help you prevent blood sugar spikes. Make sure you watch portions and eat well-balanced meals. Focus on consuming complex carbs such as high fiber fruits and vegetables as well as, whole grains. In some cases, it may be beneficial to let the host of the party or dinner know ahead of time your dietary restrictions. This way you can either bring specific dishes to the dinner or they may be open to creating dishes that work with your dietary needs. You may also opt to eat beforehand and nibble or graze on the foods that you can eat. Whichever option you choose to focus on finding ways to make sure you’re not getting carried away with the foods that you’re consuming.
Step Two: Limit or Omit Alcohol
Drinking and consuming alcoholic beverages may complicate your diabetes. When it comes to alcohol consumption you should follow your doctor’s orders. If your doctor says it’s ok to consume alcohol, make sure that you follow your doctor’s orders explicitly. Many alcoholic beverages such as wine, beer, and cocktails are loaded with carbs and simple sugar. Consuming an excessive amount can cause blood sugar to spike. If you do choose to consume alcoholic beverages opt to limit yourself to one drink. Also, make sure that you are consuming alcohol with food or shortly after eating. Avoid overly sweet cocktails and carb-heavy beer. Make sure to include non-alcoholic beverages such as non-alcoholic wine, and beer. Trying different spritzers, and diabetic friendly beverages as well.
Step Three: Be Travel Ready
Are you planning on traveling for the holiday season? Plan ahead and be prepared for the trip. Know what your itinerary is going to look like so you can include simple snacks that will help to prevent blood sugar drops. A tip that is helpful if you’re traveling via car is to know what restaurants that have a menu of items that you can eat. Also, stick to a consistent schedule when it comes to taking your medication. Try not to stray or deviate too far from your normal schedule. Take medicine with food when possible. Make sure that you account for time differences. Lastly, carry an emergency kit with you that includes necessary supplies. Items to include in your kit are a blood glucose monitor, injection pen needles, lancets, insulin syringes, test strips, and fast-acting glucose.
Step Four: Relax
Travel, shopping, making preparations with family. All of these things can cause you to become stressed out. Stress can contribute to elevated blood sugar. This increases your likelihood to reach for trigger foods. Make sure that you are taking time to relax. This will help you manage stress. Seek healthy ways to manage your stress in the form of physical activity. Staying active is not only effective for stress management but it will help improve your health. Simple activities such as walking or easy 30-minute workouts can be included in your day. As always make sure that you are following your doctor’s orders when it comes to physical activity.
Summing It All Up
The best way to survive the holiday season and manage your diabetes is to make sure that you are implementing the four steps of diabetes management. One, be mindful of the foods you consume. Two, limit or omit the alcohol. Three, be travel ready. And Four, relax. Another important factor is to regularly monitor your blood sugar levels. This will let you know if tweaks need to be made to your nutrition and will give you a better idea of what is going on with your body and keep you in line.
Hi, my name is Kathleen but you can call me Kat. I am an Anti-Aging Coach and I am super passionate about teaching women how they can redefine the aging process. This can easily be done by making simple changes to their nutrition, fitness, skin health and lifestyle. I accomplish this through the content I create on social media sites such as YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram. As well as right here on my blog. I provide one to one coaching sessions where I create customized wellness plans. These wellness plans address your specific preventative health and anti-aging concerns. My coaching is designed to provide easy solutions for those that are seeking to prevent or manage chronic illness. I also have coaching options if you also want help in preventing and managing premature aging. If you are passionate about learning more on how you can defy aging in your life and stay forever young click here and schedule a FREE Discovery session with me and let’s talk about it!