How diabetics survive holiday dinners

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How diabetics survive holiday dinners

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The holidays are the hardest on my A1C. There are so many sweets, carbs, high-calorie food spreads, and indulgences, that my insulin pen is in overdrive, and I’m constantly testing my blood sugar to make sure I’m staying within range. It has been a roller coaster ride, but I’ve learned how diabetics survive holiday meals, and what helps me function between the end of November, and the beginning of January. Read on to learn more about how diabetics survive holiday dinners.

How Diabetics Survive Holiday Dinners: Pick smaller plates

The easiest thing you can do is try to dine on smaller plates. I celebrate the holidays with my big families and everyone brings a dish. Sometimes there are 12-15 things on the table, and so I try to stay aware of what’s there. It’s natural to want a little taste of everything, so I start with smaller plates and smaller spoonfuls to keep my carbs and fat at a minimum. That also means splitting a dinner roll with someone or trying to measure my portion as closely as possible.

Use your eyes and hands to measure

This is always really hard. It’s not like you can carry measuring spoons around the table with you (or can you??). I try to eyeball my measurements, but I also have a few hand signals and plate divisions that help keep me in check. A fist size is about 4 ounces of protein, a handful is 1/4 of a cup. 1/2 of my plate should be veggies, while the other 2/3 are split between protein and carbs. If I cant measure, I can at least rest assured that I’m somewhat in balance.



Try not to go back for seconds

It’s so hard, right? Especially when the food is good, but remember that going back for seconds means that you’re going back for extra carbs, extra protein, and extra fat. If you can stand it, snack in between, and have your second round for dinner.

Get some exercise

The best way to work down that blood sugar is to get some exercise. Go for a walk, or run. Lift some weights, do whatever you can to get moving so that you can burn some extra calories. Getting some exercise will also help you feel better if you’ve gone a bit overboard.

Try not to stress about the small stuff

You’re going to go a little overboard, and you can’t blame yourself for that. Do what you can to enjoy the holidays, but just remember to take care of your body and re-calibrate when it’s needed. Pay attention to what your body is saying to you, and make sure to take always take care.

Whether you’re diabetic, or not, what are your best tips for making sure that you don’t crazy during the holidays?

11 Responses

  1. Goodness, I can’t imagine how tough it must be this time of year. I’m not diabetic and even I struggle with the tips you’ve mentioned! Using smaller plates is something we could all benefit from implementing, though.

    1. My dietician taught it to me and it’s so valuable! Every hand is different, but I tried out some different measurements on a scale and measuring cups. It has helped SO much. Especially when I can’t do exact measurements!

  2. I can imagine how hard the holidays are when you’re battling diabetes. My aunt is constantly watching her weight and she does actually bring measuring cups with her to serve herself. So you could totally do it at my house and we wouldn’t bat an eyelash!

  3. This was a great read, I cannot even imagine how difficult it would be to monitor all of that while trying to take in the festivities. I had an aunt who was diabetic and I remember growing up my mom would always put out “Special” treats just for her <3

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Mila Clarke sits on a couch and smiles at camera

Hi! I'm Mila.

I’m a millennial living with LADA (Latent Autoimmune Diabetes in Adults, a slow-progressing form of autoimmune Type 1 diabetes) I love food, travel, and my kitchen!

Hangry Woman is for anyone with diabetes – regardless of type.

I’m here to help you live your best life possible diabetes by showing you how to create simple, blood-sugar friendly and delicious meals. Plus, you get video cooking demos, essays on life with diabetes, and lots of weekly joy.

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