Happy, Healthy Holidays
The holidays present endless comforting food options that make it tempting to overeat. Use these tips to enjoy yourself in a balanced way this holiday season.
Have a Holiday Game Plan
• Timing is an important factor in controlling blood sugar levels. On holidays, try to eat at your routine meal times. If you’re invited to dinner at a later time, enjoy a small snack that supplies both fiber and protein at your regular mealtime to keep your blood sugar in check and your appetite in control.
• When we skip meals, our bodies release blood sugar into the bloodstream, causing a rise in blood glucose. Skipping meals also increases the likeliness of overeating. Don’t deprive yourself – instead, eat lighter meals throughout the day so you can savor the party menu mindfully and with appreciation.
• If you’re hosting a party, serve healthy twists on holiday favorites. If you’re attending a party as a guest, offer to bring a lighter holiday dish to share and enjoy.
• Eating too quickly leads to poor digestion and lower meal satisfaction. During holiday meals, slow down and thoroughly chew each bite while you enjoy the time at the table with friends and family.
Master the Buffet
• It can be easy to make smart choices when faced with a spread of tasty festive foods. Browse the options before digging in, think through what’s offered and pick the foods you truly want.
• Try to fill the majority of your plate with healthy options like sliced fruits, roasted vegetables, whole grains and lean or plant-based proteins. Use any remaining space on your plate to treat yourself to small portions of your favorite holiday comforts.
• It takes about 20 minutes before your brain recognizes that you’re full. If you think you have more room, wait it out before getting seconds.
• Avoid or limit your alcohol intake, or be sure to enjoy it with food. Alcohol can lower blood sugar and interact with diabetes medicines, so educate yourself on potential risks before drinking.
Make a Move
Don’t let physical activity get pushed to the side during the holidays. Moving more during this stressful time of year benefits physical and mental health, regulates blood sugar and makes for memorable quality time if family and friends participate. Add simple movements into your day by going on walks, doing chair dips, squats or sit-ups in between watching your favorite holiday movies, or round up everyone at your gathering for a fun game of football.