The Christmas season can leave many in despair by the time New Year’s Day arrives. Surely we all love our holidays. But a sustained eating celebration may negatively impact on not only weight but also glycemic control in those with diabetes. Besides, it may be shocking to know that these weight gains and/or increments in HbA1c during the “winter holidays” may not be reversed during the post-holiday period.
Yet Christmas does not have to be all about over-eating and over-drinking! This article will suggest 5 things you can do to stay good this Christmas, and explore how you can keep your weight and blood glucose in check without feeling like a scrooge!
1. Plan Ahead
Strategise before you arrive at parties. Map out your entire culinary game plan – from appetisers to desserts. When you’re calm and rationale at home, making these plans ahead mean you are less likely to experience the stress of unhealthy temptations. Planning can also include thinking of opportunities to keep up with exercise in between parties.
2. Enjoy Yourself But Don’t Overdo It
It is easy to load up on all the delicious food during this season. You will even feel great whilst you’re eating but if you over-indulge, you may end up feeling guilty. So eat slowly, and really enjoy the food. Try to eat the same portion that you normally would at meal time, and cut back on carbohydrate food (like rice or potatoes) if you plan to have dessert later. Remember to watch your portion sizes and resist going back for seconds.
3. Bring What You Like
At Christmas potlucks, luncheons or dinners, try not to worry about what will be served. Instead, offer to bring a healthier dish to share and even impress. Besides, the vegetable selection on holiday menus are often limited. Why not add some colourful vegetable dishes?
Many often do not realise how many unwanted calories sweet drinks can contribute to their intake.
Make smart drink choices by choosing water, diet soda or cordial instead of sugar-sweetened drinks. You can even make water more exciting by adding slices of lemon, lime, or cucumber.
5. Stay Active
Plan time into each day for exercise and don’t break your routine. Make the Christmas holidays an even more active time! Get moving! Go for a walk with your loved ones after eating or offer to help clean up after a meal.
The Bottom Line
A single day of over-eating may make little difference on your weight and overall glycemic control if you have diabetes, but a continual eating celebration does. Therefore, this Christmas time, slow down, focus on your family and friends and pay careful attention to your portions and what you are eating. Enjoy the feeling of being fed, not stuffed (like a turkey). This way, keeping the extra Christmas kilos off, and controlling your blood sugars will not be as hard as you think.