17 Dec Be “Party Smart” – Managing diabetes this party season
With Christmas and the New Year festivities in full swing, surviving this hectic social month as a diabetic can be tricky. There is an abundance of food, alcohol and the consistent exercise you have worked so hard to commit to through out the year has become less of a priority.
I am here to share with you that this doesn’t have to be the case. You can manage your diabetes and still have a great time over the summer!
5 strategies to keep your blood sugar levels in check:
1. Meal Planning
Having an idea of what you plan to eat over the course of the day can be the difference in maintaining your healthy eating habits over the holiday period. It is all too easy to say that you’ll eat well when meal time arrives, but we all know when lunch time rolls around, and we haven’t sufficiently fueled our body previously, that our food choices aren’t exactly ideal. Try planning your meals the night before, incorporating enough protein, good fats and monitor your carbohydrate intake.
2. Be Smart About Carbs
Excess carbohydrates can spike insulin levels causing blood sugar levels to rise, which can lead to weight gain. Incorporate protein, vegetables and healthy fats to satiate you and prevent sugar cravings later in the day.
3. Test More Frequently
Having an idea of what your blood sugar levels are first thing in the morning and before dinner might be a way to create more mindful eating over the holiday period. You are more likely to make better food choices knowing where your blood sugar levels are at in that moment.
4. Prepare Your Food
If you are going to a friends or family members house, bring your own dish to ensure you have options available to you that are insulin friendly. Treat yourself by trying a new recipe or stick with your favourite dish.
5. Keep Active
Typically a break might encourage you to slow down and be less active. Sure, rest and recovery is essential, however, staying active over the holidays should be a priority. The exercise may not consist of your regular or usual routine eg. gym and that is completely ok. Try walking more or completing a short and intense 10 min body weight circuit. This will ensure you are better managing your sugar levels and body composition.
Just remember – no one is perfect and there is no doubt the temptations are greater over this time of year, but being mindful and preparing each day is what will continue good lifestyle habits. However, if things don’t go to plan there is always tomorrow! You always have another chance.
If you want specific advice about exercising with diabetes, we recommend chatting to your local Accredited Exercise Physiologist. To find one near you, click here.
Louisa Sammartino is an Accredited Exercise Physiologist and runs her own business.