Your Holiday Survival Guide
It’s begun — the countless holiday gatherings that revolve more around food than sleigh bells and mistletoe. From the work party bean dip of countless layers to the robust family meal with innumerable sides, food is never that far away. And count your carbs as you may, it can still be difficult to navigate the end-of-year, because ultimately, all the extra celebrations and general frivolity throw you out of your routine. Inconsistencies in what you eat, how much you eat, when you eat and even how much sleep you get can affect BGLs, resulting in unpredictable numbers. With this in mind, Beyond Type 1 has come up with the 6 Geese a-laying Holiday Wisdom that will keep you jolly — instead of … well, frosty.
1 – Count your carbs
This is an obvious one. Even if you’re at a gathering, there are measures you can take ahead of time, so you’re prepared.
- Use a carb counting app or download our Holiday Carb Count Chart to find accurate numbers quickly.
- You can always offer to bring a favorite dish to a party, too, if you want to be sure of what you’re eating.
- And there’s the dependable measuring cup that you can bring along to find precise portions and carb ratios.
2 – Avoid sugar-free foods
Sugar alcohols are in sugar-free food, especially in desserts, and can upset your stomach and even give you diarrhea. Remember also, just because it says “sugar-free”, it doesn’t mean it’s “carb-free”.
3 – Indulge but don’t over do it
Yes, it’s the holidays, but you don’t have to go crazy. You can have your cake and eat it too, but pick your favorites and plan ahead for indulgence; then you won’t regret it later. One tip – don’t arrive hungry. Have a snack before you go, and you’ll be less likely to grab mindlessly at food that passes in front of you.
4 – Stay active
To counteract highs, get moving. Winter walks are a good way to lower blood glucose levels, and if the weather is not permitting, try volunteering for clean-up after large meals — anything to keep moving.
5 – Hydrate!
This is an easy one to forget. Especially with changes in weather in some climates, you may find that you need a higher daily intake of water. A glass of water between holiday cocktails is also a good idea, since alcohol dehydrates as well and can give you boomerang blood sugar levels.
6 – Get enough sleep
Your typical schedule may be off because of increased activities and late-night gatherings. Try to stick to a consistent sleeping pattern to help with your diabetes management but also to better equip you for higher levels of stress that can come with the holidays.
Traveling this holiday season? Check out our T1D On-the-go Kit HERE.