Diabetes and the holidays: 5 tips for good glucose control

Just because the holidays present more temptations and less routine doesn't mean your blood glucose levels have to suffer. Here are five tips that can help you navigate the egg nog, turkey, fudge and other holiday feasts, while maintaining tight glucose control.

5 tips to manage your blood glucose during the holidays

1. Modify your meal plan. All that merriment usually comes along with extra sugar and extra carbohydrates. In turn, it is important to put a little more planning into your meals during the holidays. Remember, it's not just sweets you have to watch out for--fruits, milk and starchy potatoes and bread are all high in carbohydrates. If it is too hard to face down temptation, offer to bring your own diabetes-friendly dessert to parties, or fill up on healthy snacks beforehand.

2. Stick to your routine. Whether you're party hopping or hopping on a plane, be sure to check your blood sugar levels regularly. Busy schedules and extra stress can easily lead to forgetting to test glucose in a normal manner.

3. Divert your focus. Try to incorporate non-food related activities into your family traditions. Make decorations or greeting cards together, play games, find an annual concert or take up ice skating. Or, really get into the holiday spirit by volunteering at a local charity.

4. Take time to de-stress. A little advanced planning can go a long way in battling stress. But if you're still feeling frazzled, get out and exercise. According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), regular, moderate-intensity exercise helps strengthen your body and your immune system, plus it can boost your overall mood.

5. Enjoy yourself. The holidays are a time to be thankful, to reconnect with loved ones, and to look ahead to the New Year. So don't make it all about avoiding that slice of fruit cake or grandma's sugar cookies. The ADA recommends indulging in moderation, and then making healthy choices the rest of the day.

These tips can help you manage stress levels, focus on your treatment plan, and--most of all--enjoy yourself during the holidays.

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