Surviving the Holiday Festivities with Diabetes

By Laura Reid, MEd, PDt, CDE

The holidays are a busy, stressful time, but can be even more so when you have diabetes.  Parties, festivities, baking, presents…food is everywhere!  If you are used to following a set routine such as eating at particular times, following a meal plan,  the holiday season can throw you off track.  Here are a few tips to keep in mind to help you survive the holidays:


  • The holiday season means shopping!  If you are heading out shopping for long hours, be sure to pack some snacks and plenty of water, or plan to stop for a healthy meal. 


  • If you love to bake - don’t start baking too early in the month, especially if you are the only one eating it!  Share with friends and family, or use as early gifts for loved ones.


  • “Out of sight, out of mind”.  Keep candy, chocolates and sweets off the counter and put them where you will not see it all day.   Studies show the closer and more visual a dish of candy is, the more we will eat!  If you keep the dish on your desk at work, you will eat more than if you place it across the room.


  • Every occasion revolves around food!  If you are attending a party with lots of goodies and are afraid you are going to overdo it, have a healthy snack before you go so you do not arrive hungry.  This can help you control your cravings and avoid overdoing things, while still enjoying some of your favourites. 


  • For potlucks, bring a healthy dish you love to share with everyone,  to ensure that you have a smart option to eat.  If the party is not a potluck, ask the host/hostess if you can bring something to contribute, to ensure that there will be a dish you are familiar with.


  • Keep an eye on your portion sizes, and do not stand by the food!  When food is close to us, we tend to eat more of it (often mindlessly!).


  • Monitor your blood glucose levels, especially before, during and after drinking alcohol while celebrating.  Be sure to eat carbohydrate containing foods, and consider having extra if you are dancing.  Pour your own drinks and made every second drink alcohol free.  Finally, make sure someone knows your signs and symptoms of low blood glucose and have treatment handy.



Have a wonderful, healthy holiday season!





Laura Reid, MEd,PDt,CDE

Owner Dietitians on the Go!  Fitting Healthy Eating into Busy Lifestyles

Antigonish, NS


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