Whether you're planning to enjoy yourself at a nice restaurant for Christmas, attending a special family dinner or a going to a party with friends, everyone will be taking pleasure in eating out and enjoying a meal with others. After all, it wouldn't feel like Christmas if we weren't to indulge and enjoy ourselves a bit more than usual.
Unfortunately, these occasions often come with the temptation to either over order, order foods that are high in fat and energy, or to be served in amounts much larger than we need! This can make it much harder to keep up with managing blood glucose levels. However, you don't need to miss out on all the fun in order to maintain or adopt healthy habits.
Fortunately there are plenty of options to assist with eating mindfully, without the guilt of having to discipline yourself to stay away from all the delicious festive dishes.
Here are 7 general tips to help.
- After eating your standard meal, if you see an extra dish on the Christmas spread that you'd like to try, or a dessert that really appeals to you, share it with your dining companion. This way, you can enjoy yourself in moderation and also be a part of the Christmas spirit of sharing!
- Choose lean meats, chicken or fish that have been grilled, steamed, stir-fried or baked. Or you can go vegetarian, and choose meals based on legumes or tofu.
- There'll be plenty of dishes that have creamy sauces and dressings. If you want to enjoy these, rather than avoiding them completely, ask to have the sauces and dressings on the side. This will help you have more control over the serving amount and can make it easier for you to bolus.
- When choosing higher carb dishes like pasta and risotto, ask for an entrée size with a side serving of salad or steamed veggies to keep it a balanced meal.
- Attending a finger food function? Consider having a light meal before you go, so you don’t turn up starving. This way, you can focus on enjoying a taste of the items that really appeal to you without needing to fill up on what are often energy dense offerings.
- Don’t feel that you need to eat everything on your plate just because it is right in front of you. Portion sizes in the festive season are almost always too big. Stop when you are satisfied, not when you're overly full.
- Don’t forget your fluids. Many people consider what they eat but forget that what they drink on special occasions can really add up. Put together a plan to either limit or monitor your intake of alcohol and soft drinks. Not only are they high in energy, but alcohol can also increase your appetite. However, if you do choose to drink alcohol, you can alternate your alcoholic drinks with mineral water or soda water to limit your overall intake.
Remember, while indulging in foods can be more challenging for a person managing diabetes, it doesn’t have to be a dietary disaster. It certainly doesn’t mean having to give up on all of your favourite foods either. Following some tips and working on a personalised food plan with a health professional can help you to comfortably enjoy the big family Christmas spreads, while still keeping your weight and blood glucose levels on track.
At the end of the day, you can still treat yourself and allow yourself some flexibility to enjoy the foods you love the most. Moderation is key. So go and have a good Christmas with your family and friends!
Glucology Store was born in Sydney Australia. Our mission is to help improve the lives of people living with diabetes by providing the best possible support products and information.
Remember to always seek advice from your medical practitioner before changing anything about your diabetes management. The above information is not medical advice.