Winters are here and so is the holiday season. Even if you are someone with diabetes, there’s nothing that should restrict you from having the same fun as your family members, enjoying the holiday celebrations and planning for the New Year’s party. With proper planning and preparation, you can stay healthy and on track even during your holiday gatherings with family and friends.
Meal prep is the most important factor in managing your diabetes diet during holidays and family gatherings. This applies to all types of diabetes. There will be a lot of traditional holiday delicacies and you must know how to enjoy these party foods while sticking to your healthy meal plan.
To stick to your healthy meal plan, make sure you –
- Irrespective of the types of diabetes , snack on something at home already to avoid over eating the party food at gatherings
- Ask your friends what food is on their menu for the party you are invited to so you know what all could fit in your meal plan if you are a diabetes type 1 or type 2
- Might as well make a nutritious meal or snack for yourself and for your friends before going to their place so you still stay on your side of healthy eating
Portion control matters a lot if you wish to attend the holiday gatherings and indulge in the delicious food. With the following tips, you can avoid over eating even during festivities and stay healthy –
- In a buffet arrangement, stick to smaller portions
- Avoid regular beverages and stick to low-calorie drinks and diet beverages, sparkling water and unsweetened tea– keeping the sugar control program you are on, in mind
- Limit your alcohol intake to a glass or two and drink only with meals
- Choose to put lean meat in your plate and try to avoid the holiday turkey coated with sweet honey glaze. Try and take turkey without the holiday gravy and cut the outer portion of its meat to avoid calories that are not good for you
- Fill up your plate with vegetables and side dishes that contain lesser butter, dressings, fats, sugars and sour creams
- Stay away from high sodium foods since most holiday foods have sauces and gravies that are loaded with salt and sugar
- During dessert time, choose fruits over holiday pies, pastries, souffles and cakes that are loaded with fat and sugar.
- Maintain your focus on catching up with friends and family, instead of being all about food. Take a short walk after your meal or join the fun dancing with friends and family
Now, here are some quick fixes and tips for your New Year’s travel-party plans if you have diabetes –
Manage your medication on time –
- If you are travelling for New Year’s, make sure you pack your diabetes supplies twice the amount you normally would because you may face unexpected travel delays
- By chance if your blood glucose level drops, make sure you carry some glucose gel and tablets or some quick snacks to stabilise it on time
- Always keep your medical identification that says you are diabetic, insurance card, Aadhaar Card, emergency contact numbers, and your doctor’s details handy in case of an emergency
- Pack your emergency kit if you take insulin and make sure you carry it in an insulated bag
Travel smart –
- Take a flu shot, influenza vaccination done before your New Year Party travel plans
- Take water bottles instead of juice or sweetened soda
- Snack on nuts and seeds, dry fruits for snacks in moderate quantities as they can be high in calories
- Take your diabetes supplies in your hand carry and not in the luggage, also keep your snacks and medicines close to you by your seats if you are travelling by air or by car so it’s in your quick reach
- If you are travelling by air, order for low-fat diabetic, low-cholesterol meal and take your insulin only after your meal is served
And once your New Year’s party is successful, it’s time to come back on track after the fun holidays and start your fitness routine to burn off those big holiday meals. Head out for long evening walks with your friend or join your favourite dance class thrice a week and break a sweat to burn the calories and stay healthy.