December 2, 2021

Managing Diabetes for a Healthy Holiday Season

Charles A. Zonfa, MD, FACOG, Chief Medical Officer, SummaCare

Gathering with family and friends during the holiday season is a special time to share with loved ones. It’s a time for fun, games and lots of food! Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, with the hustle and bustle of the holidays, most often the last thing on our minds is our diet. But for those with diabetes, it’s important to be mindful.

The good news is that you can still enjoy the same foods as those around you – with some easy tips!

Plan ahead. If you’re attending a dinner party, you may not be able to select the menu. It’s always a good idea to bring a dish or two that fall in line with your meal plan. Try to eat meals as close to your usual times as possible – don’t skip meals. You can indulge in your favorite desserts and snacks, just be sure to monitor the serving size. 

Take a walk. Have your family and friends to join you. Throughout the holiday season, don’t forget to make exercise, like walking, a regular activity. The key is to take a brisk walk for 20-30 minutes. A regular walking routine can help to boost one’s mood, reduce anxiety and depression and improve sleep.

Get plenty of rest. With the busy holiday season, not only do people tend to stay out later but may also forget to rest during the day. Take time to recharge in between shopping and parties. Lack of sleep can make it harder to manage your blood sugar. The goal should be to get seven to eight hours of sleep each night.

And if you’re hosting a holiday party, there are some steps you can follow. Be supportive of your family member or friend with diabetes – encourage them to stick to their routine and provide meal options. Be mindful of your guest needing to monitor their blood sugar throughout the event and offer a private location if needed.

Overall, you don’t need to skip out on the holiday festivities to manage your diabetes. In fact, spending time with those you love can help reduce stress and keep your blood sugar in check. Plan ahead, exercise and get a good night’s sleep – and you will enjoy a healthy holiday season.