LiveSmart: Diabetes Awareness Month – Simple Steps to Stay Healthy through the Holidays

[This story was written by Lynn Sutton, RD, CDN, CDE, supervisor/program coordinator of the Diabetes Education Program at St. Peter’s Diabetes & Endocrine Care.]

November is National Diabetes Awareness Month and, coincidentally, it just happens to kick off the holiday season.

For many, the time between Halloween and Super Bowl Sunday (February 13, 2022, in case you were wondering) is one filled with celebrations, many centered around food and beverages. Add in office parties, birthdays, anniversaries, and weddings – eating healthy throughout these few months can be challenging for everyone.

According to a New England Journal of Medicine study, actual weight gain during this time is approximately one pound, lower than we might have thought. But, for the more than 34 million Americans with diabetes, this season can be particularly difficult to navigate.

Here are eight tips to consider to help you stay healthier through the upcoming season:

  1. Eat breakfast: restricting meals throughout the day and saving up for the feast can lead to negative changes in blood glucose, as well as over eating when you do get to that special meal.
  2. Look over all the choices before loading your plate. Select what you truly love.
  3. Sit down to eat. Sitting down and mindfully eating increases awareness of what you are consuming. Relax, chat and enjoy.
  4. At the buffet, select your favorites – again, choose items you truly love. Then, sit at least six feet away from the buffet and enjoy your selections.
  5. Chew sugar-free mint gum to reduce your desire to nibble after the meal.
  6. Make smart choices when including alcohol. Wine has only 3 grams of carbohydrates, where a margarita has 30. Alcohol increases the risk for hypoglycemia, so make sure you are eating when consuming alcohol and continue to test your blood glucose.
  7. Exercise: walking for ten to fifteen minutes after you eat helps to lower blood glucose.
  8. Get enough sleep. Taking the time to ensure 7 to 9 hours of nightly rest reduces blood glucose, helps to maintain a healthy weight, and reduces stress.

Your goal is to manage diabetes, stay healthy, and enjoy the holiday season with family and friends. Small, healthy changes can make a big difference and St. Peter’s Diabetes & Endocrine Care is here to help you on that journey.

At St. Peter’s Diabetes and Endocrine Care, our multi-disciplinary team of endocrinologists, advanced practitioners and Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialists are dedicated to helping individuals with diabetes and other endocrine and metabolic disorders improve their quality of life.

For information, call us at 518-471-3636. Happy holidays!

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