The Holidays are a time fraught with temptations, and it can seem challenging for diabetics to maintain their healthy habits. With a bit of planning and some smart choices, however, it is possible to enjoy the bounty of the Holidays guilt-free.
Enjoy festive fare When going to dinners, don’t arrive ravenous, as you could then overindulge. Take small portions of your favourite foods and savour them. Pile on the vegetables, but watch out for sauces! Share a dessert, or take a smaller portion. If the meals are held at times that differ from your usual schedule, plan some snacks and adjust the time you take your medication accordingly, as required.
Drink in moderation Everyone should drink in moderation, but this advice is particularly applicable to diabetics. Alcohol can cause a drop in blood glucose levels, especially when consumed on an empty stomach. This can cause a sensation of fatigue and confusion that can appear immediately or several hours later. If you want to have an alcoholised beverage, make sure to always eat a bit of food first. And if you need to drive, it’s a good idea to check you blood glucose before you leave, to make sure it isn’t too low.
Stay active! This is not a time to take a break from exercise. Physical activity helps lower blood glucose levels, blood pressure and cholesterol, while also burning the excess calories consumed during Holiday meals. Even when you’re not home, it’s always possible to stay active: some easy activities that anyone can enjoy include going for a walk, helping the kids build a snowman, and dancing with relatives.
Reduce stress Plan ahead! Unexpected last-minute changes won’t bother you as much if you’ve gotten ready in advance. And don’t forget: you don’t have to accept every invitation. Sometimes it’s best to politely decline.
Lastly, if you need to travel, bring a current list of your medication, as well as twice as much medication as you need. That way, if you can’t get back home due to bad weather, you won’t be caught off-guard.
If you have any questions on how to manage your medication during the festive season, don’t hesitate to ask for your pharmacist’s advice.