During the holidays, you may not always be able to control what food you’re served, and you’re bound to see other people eating a lot of tempting treats. When it comes to healthy eating, taking a mindful approach ahead of time and meeting the challenges armed with a plan can really help. Here’s a few tips:
- Eat close to your usual times to keep your blood sugar steady. If your meal is served later than normal, eat a small snack at your usual mealtime and eat a little less when dinner is served.
- Before going out to an event or dinner party, have a healthy snack to curb your appetite.
- Stand more than an arm’s length away from munchies, like a bowl of nuts or chips, while you chat so you’re not tempted to raise your hand to your mouth every few seconds.
- Pop a sugar-free mint in your mouth when you’ve had enough and don’t want to eat more. The feeling of a fresh palate can curb additional noshing.
If you have a sweet treat, cut back on other carbs during a meal.
- Don’t skip meals to save up for a feast. It will be harder to keep your blood sugar in control, and you’ll be really hungry and more likely to overeat.
- When you’re cooking, you can cut down on salt and boost savory flavors by substituting garlic or herbs such as basil, rosemary, sage, tarragon, thyme, or turmeric. If you and your guests enjoy spicy food, try adding hot sauce.
- Eat slowly. It takes at least 20 minutes for your brain to realize you’re full.
- Avoid or limit alcohol. If you do have an alcoholic drink, have it with food. Alcohol can lower blood sugar and interact with diabetes medicines.
- Don’t go holiday shopping hungry. To cut down on the lure of the food court, never go to the mall on an empty stomach.
- Get Your Zzz’s. Going out more and staying out later often means cutting back on sleep. Sleep loss can make it harder to control your blood sugar, and when you’re sleep deprived you’ll tend to eat more and prefer high-fat, high-sugar food. Aim for 7-8 hours per night.