Managing your diabetes through the festive period

Christmas is a season of celebration and plenty of festive indulgence – but if you’re living with diabetes, it can also be a tricky time to manage.

Parties, family meals, special events and long hours of travel can all disrupt our daily routines in December. For diabetics, it’s an even more complicated affair when you bring food into the mix.

Is there balance to be had? The good news is – yes! With some additional planning you can enjoy the best of the festive season and still safely manage your diabetes as well.

Here’s a few tips to help you through.

Stick to your routine

Keeping your blood sugar steady is important any time of year, but at Christmas it’s easy to become side tracked. Try and stay as close to your usual routine as possible and observe your regular meal times. If you know you’ll be eating earlier or later than usual, bring a snack to eat at your usual mealtime and then eat less when dinner is served.

Bring something

If you’re heading off to a festive party, offer to bring a dish with you – you’ll be able to control the ingredients that go in and will know you have something to eat while steering clear of canapés.

Don’t skip meals

Skipping meals can be tempting before a big meal. But ‘saving up’ calories to eat later doesn’t truly work – instead you end up hungry and it’s harder to keep control of your blood sugar. When the meal does arrive, you’re more likely to overeat.

Fit in your favourites

If there are foods you love at Christmas time – like stuffing or a family member’s signature dessert, don’t deny yourself. Instead, seek balance. Choose the dishes you really love and can’t get other times of the year over things you can eat other times, like perhaps roast potatoes or an extra glass of wine. Take the time to really enjoy and savour the foods you do love and plan ahead so they fit into your meal plan.

Remember exercise

Keeping a regular exercise routine even through the busy holiday season can help balance the excess of the season. Encourage your family and friends to join you – take a walk together after your Christmas meal.

Seek out expert advice

The internet is a great resource, filled with tips and tricks to help you manage the Christmas season with diabetes from other people who do it too. Try checking out tips to make Christmas healthier from Diabetes UK or this blog with tips from another diabetic about how to manage Christmas and diabetes.

Do you have any tips for managing diabetes through the festive period? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

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Rachel - Silversurfers Assistant Editor

Hello there! I’m Rachel and I’m the Assistant Editor for Silversurfers. I work behind the scenes to bring interesting, informative and entertaining subject matter to the Silversurfers community. I hope you enjoy the features we have shared with you. Please feel free to comment below and share your thoughts with us, we love to hear from you!

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