I recall a number of years ago, when a patient left my office based practice and sent me a very nasty note three months later. She expressed how disappointed she was that I was not a person of my word. I had assured her that due to the fact that her blood sugars were well controlled and her A1C was less than 7% that I would attempt to wean her off some, if not all her medications.
The catch was that at the time that this discussion was going on, the holiday season was also upon us. I had made a mental note to address this in the New Year, as I hate to see anyone fail due to no fault of his or her own.
I should have educated my patient on what it was that I intended to accomplish and my reasoning.
For people living with type 2 diabetes, this is one of the more challenging times of the year. Blood sugar levels may gradually begin to rise with each holiday party. And with that, the A1C rises.
By following these seven simple steps, you can survive the holiday season and come out a winner ready to embrace 2017 as you live powerfully!
Tip number 1- Plan your meals
In order to keep blood sugars within a normal range, planning your meals is very important at this time of the year.
Here’s a simple tip-If you know that you are going to be out at a holiday party later on in the day, consider having a light snack just before leaving home. That way you are less hungry and less likely to go for the sweets that will cause your sugars to rise.
Also consider cutting down on the portion sizes of your earlier meals. Be careful if you are on insulin or an oral hypoglycemic agent not to cut down too low so that you do not experience hypoglycemia.
Tip number 2- Increase your amount of fiber intake
Fiber is a complex carbohydrate. The average American diet contains a low level of fiber. Most nutritionists recommend a daily fiber intake of up to 35G.
Studies have shown that by increasing the amount of fiber in the diet can help control blood glucose levels. This is especially if it is soluble fiber. An example of soluble fiber is oatmeal.
Fruits and vegetables are all good sources of fiber. By making a conscious choice to increase the amount of fiber rich foods in your diet will get you to your goal of maintaining a normal blood sugar range throughout the holiday season and beyond.
Tip number three- Plan to incorporate physical activity
The Winter & Holiday season is traditionally the time when the average American gains between 7-10 lbs. Studies have shown that people living with type 2 diabetes can achieve normal blood sugar range by increasing physical activity. During the winter months make an effort to maintain some form of physical activity. Choose an exercise regimen that is easy to follow. As always be sure to see your physician before starting out on an exercise program. So if you have not already scheduled your annual physical, now is a great time to go ahead and do so.
Tip number four- Drink enough water
There are a myriad of benefits to drinking water. The important thing in a type 2 diabetic is to maintain good kidney function. Drinking water may also keeps you feeling full and so help with weight loss. The traditional recommendation has always been 8 glasses of water a day. However something else to consider is drinking half of your body weight in ounces. So if you weigh 170 lbs. that equals 85 ounces of water a day.
Tip number five- be consistent with monitoring your blood sugars
This is not the time of the year to slack off testing your blood sugar levels. It is not the time to stick your head in the sand and rationalize that your blood sugar levels are going to be high and there’s nothing you can do about it anyway. Your mindset is very important. If you have not been checking your blood sugar levels regularly, this is the time to start. By regularly checking your blood sugar levels, you get instant feedback. Living powerfully with diabetes, requires that you have an awareness attached to action. High blood sugar levels just do not happen to you. You can make the necessary adjustments in your lifestyle in order to control your blood sugars.
Tip number six- Keep all scheduled appointments with your healthcare providers
This is the time to make your healthcare provider aware of any challenges that you may be encountering during the holiday season. That way you both can explore ways to better control your blood sugar levels.
Depending on your A1C, your healthcare provider may decide to adjust your medications. This is a much better option than starting out the New Year with high A1c levels and blood sugar levels out of control. Sometimes it can take more than 6 months to normalize the blood sugars.
Tip number seven- Enlist the support of family and friends
I have written in a previous article about the importance of a support network. Now more than ever is the time of the year to enlist the support of family and friends. Want to get started in an exercise program? Call up a workout buddy. Not sure how to handle ‘Aunt Martha’s’ three layer chocolate cake? Have a family member share a portion with you. It takes teamwork to make the dream work. Do not be afraid to ask for support. Sometimes just knowing there is someone else looking out for you is what makes the world of difference.
I’d love to read your comments and any other strategies that you may have in place to ensure that you keep your diabetes type 2 sugar levels normal this holiday season and beyond.
Until next week,
Here’s to your Health & Wellbeing,