Managing Diabetes Magazine - diabetes
Holiday Party Survivor Guide
Stay in control during the holiday season
Resisting the enticing array of goodies that arrive along with the holiday season can be very challenging. Still, if you have diabetes, you have added reason not to overindulge. Planning ahead helps keep both cravings and diabetes under control.
Do not go hungry
Do not starve yourself all day because you plan to attend a dinner or party in the evening. Plan ahead, eat breakfast and a light lunch, and if possible go for a brisk walk during the day.
If you are going directly to a party from work or another event, eat a healthy snack on the way. If you arrive hungry, you will tend to eat more.
Drink plenty of water during the day, since it is easy to confuse the signals of hunger and thirst. As well, if you are well-hydrated you are less likely to down your first drink and take another right away.
Stay away from the buffet
Instead of standing beside the food, mingle and talk with other guests. If you are talking or dancing you will not be eating. Keeping a glass of water or low-calorie beverage in your hand also makes it harder to reach for snacks.
Look for healthy choices
Stay away from anything deep-fried, battered, or cased in pastry. Put plenty of raw veggies and salad on your plate, and avoid high-calorie dressings and dips. Instead, look for low-calorie and low-fat versions, including fat-free sour cream, yogurt, salsa or flavoured vinegar.
Moderation is key
Plan to eat only three or four snacks, not one of everything. Sit down and eat slowly. Take the time to enjoy and savour your choices. For dessert, select fresh fruit or a half serving of a sugary treat.
During the holiday season, it can be difficult to resist cravings for chocolate. Keep in mind that it is healthier to enjoy one excellent truffle than gorge on several pieces of ordinary chocolate.
Gear up your willpower
Do you give in when offered food? Mentally rehearse what you can say when that third plate of goodies comes by. “They look delicious, but I am full,” or “I tried those already, they were great. Thanks.” Think of ways to graciously refuse.
Tips to reduce your alcohol intake
- Use the same type of glass to alternate an alcoholic beverage with water or a diet drink. Mix alcohol with water or a diet soda, instead of juice or regular soda. For instance, mix half a beer with diet ginger ale, or make a wine spritzer by adding diet soda.
- When drinking wine, select a dry version with fewer calories. Avoid liqueurs, which are heavy on alcohol and sugar. Even beers and wines without alcohol contain lots of sugar (and calories), so use the same strategy.
- Drink water before and with your meals instead of alcohol. Alcohol often makes you hungrier.
- Most important, remember not to drink and drive.
- Catch yourself in time
- If you have already eaten or had more to drink than you planned, do not use it as an excuse to throw caution to the winds. Stop, put your plate away, and get a glass of water or a diet soda in a wine glass to hold in your hand.
With a little forethought, you can enjoy holiday festivities while keeping your diabetes under control.
While effort is made to reflect accepted medical knowledge and practice, articles in Family Health Online should not be relied upon for the treatment or management of any specified medical problem or concern and Family Health accepts no liability for reliance on the articles. For proper diagnosis and care, you should always consult your family physician promptly. © Copyright 2012, Family Health Magazine, a special publication of the Edmonton Journal, a division of Postmedia Network Inc., 10006 - 101 Street, Edmonton, AB T5J 2S6 [DI_MDc06]