Taking Care of Your Diabetes When You Are Away From Home
You have a routine in place to manage diabetes when you are at home and work. And, you try hard to eat right and exercise. But, any change to your schedule can disrupt your blood sugar (glucose) level. Does this mean you cannot enjoy holidays and vacations? Of course you can! You just need to take the time to talk to your doctor and create a plan that’s right for you.
Dealing With HolidaysThe holidays are filled with temptations—from five-course meals to fancy alcoholic drinks. When high-calorie and high-fat foods are on the menu, not to mention all of the opportunities to slip away from your exercise routine, how can you manage your diabetes? Follow these tips to safely navigate the bustling holiday season:
- Stick to a healthy diet—one that is high in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and low in fat and calories. If you continue to follow your meal plan, you’ll be less likely to overindulge.
- Keep track of carbohydrates, which can be found in many types of food, like starchy foods (eg, potatoes, bread, pasta), as well as milk and fruits and veggies. Be mindful of carbs because the body breaks them down and turns them into glucose, causing your blood glucose levels to rise.
- If you are invited to a holiday party, ask if you can bring something, like a carb-free drink or a low-cal dessert. Right before going to the party, avoid hunger pains by having a snack and a glass of water. This way you will not be ravenous and ready to dig into all the sweets. Once you are there, place a few different types of food (in small portions) on your plate, rather than sampling every dish.
- Alcohol is always in abundance at parties. If you are going to have a drink, do so when you are eating (not on an empty stomach) and only in moderation. This means one drink if you are a woman, and two drinks if you are a man. For some people with diabetes, it is unsafe to drink alcohol because it can lead to low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). Ask your doctor what is safe for you.
- Even though you have a hectic schedule, keep exercising! This can help lower your blood glucose levels.
- Remember to continue checking your blood glucose level. While the holidays are enjoyable, they can also be stressful, which can affect your glucose level. In some people, it causes the level to rise, while others have a drop in glucose. Relaxation techniques, like deep breathing, can help reduce stress.