Diabetes at Christmas. How to hold onto your health this festive season.
Christmas is a double whammy for diabetic bodies. With diabetes creating metabolic overwhelm for your body, the festive season adds to it further with an overabundance of sugar and alcohol. But you can hold onto your health this festive season with these tips.
Protecting your health at this time of year is highly valuable. By planning for success you can achieve:
- Even, stable blood sugar levels
- Stable weight and not gaining weight
- Good energy and stress levels
- Usual routines whenever possible (in between events)
- Simple food choices and ‘normal’ serving sizes
- Hydration and movement
The truth is that your body might not really enjoy Christmas with the additional stresses it places on your metabolic health. What it really enjoys is consistency, without unexpected changes and stress.
And Christmas is not just one day, but several weeks, so planning ahead for success can make all the difference. There are delicious food options that will work for your blood sugars, without missing out on the festive spirit.
Set the scene to keep your health in mind
Notice any unhelpful ‘festive’ associations
What goes on for you at this time of year? What patterns do you embrace? Is it rest time with ‘no restrictions’? Do you simply relax and join in on the festivities and focus on being happy perhaps not worrying about your health for a few weeks?
The desire to take a break from ‘being good with food and drink’ can be powerful. However, it’s probably not a helpful festive association. So take notice and weigh up your options, as eating and drinking whatever you want has its costs. There’s no free pass!
Be a role model
There’s an opportunity instead to create and lead some new healthy festive associations with those you’re celebrating with. Most festive times are celebrated with food, bringing us together to share. So why not lead the way with some new traditions that keep it healthy and enjoyable?
Focus on maintaining weight, rather than losing it
Most people accumulate the highest percentage of their annual weight gain during the festive period. Let’s not be one of them!
With additional weight comes additional health risks so make it a goal to actively monitor and manage your weight over this time so that you stay aligned to your health goals. Our suggestion is to aim to just maintain your current weight and not gain any extra kilograms.
It’s a time to be kind to yourself. It’s ok for it not to be a time for big strides in your diabetes recovery but to instead at least hold on to the status quo until its ‘business as usual’ again.
Festive choices with diabetes at Christmas
Keep making good choices
Making good food and drink choices can be an ongoing challenge at the best of times. Our programme members have learnt not to rely on motivation or willpower and we’re letting you in on that common misconception. Instead, it’s more powerful to repeatedly make decisions and plans ahead of time. Work out strategies and the deals with yourself that will work for you to stay on course.
Choose festive sweet treats that are diabetes friendly
Nobody needs to ‘miss out’ on festive treats! However, seek out diabetes friendly recipes that will support healthy blood sugar levels and satisfy a sweet tooth. We have offered you some LCHF diabetes friendly recipes for you to try including our Christmas Cake recipe below!
Get support for your healthier choices and intentions
Ahead of festivities, let your family know your plans so they can support your healthy choices. A support team of people surrounding you (online or in person) can help you with keeping your eye on the prize!
In particular they can support you to catch any self sabotaging thoughts such as….
‘Oh well I have blown it now, I may as well keep going’.
The good news for any festive food slip ups
Deal with excess food within 24hours….
Did you know there is a 24 hour window of time to manage excess food (calories) before it gets converted into fat and stored long term into fat cells? Take advantage of that 24 hours to burn off the excess energy through exercise, drink plenty of water, eat later the next day, and eat simply and less.
People with higher insulin gain weight much more easily so consider enjoying your festive food without overindulging. Often just a small taste of something indulgent is enough to satisfy.
Try listening to your body and aiming to eat to 80% of your stomach capacity so that you feel comfortable, satisfied and content. By doing this you can avoid the shock that overeating causes to our organs.
The good news…..You are only ever one meal or one decision away from being back on track.
Our festive season summary for diabetes at Christmas
- Make your eating windows for meals 1 hour periods
- Allow periods of ‘rest and digest’ for the body to cope (3-4 hour gaps between eating)
- Be an intuitive eater – listen to your body
- Hold on to your usual routines
- Keep the chemical load down
- Test your blood sugar levels regularly and keep them as stable as possible
- Stay mindful and keep observing to help inform your choices
- Keep the helicopter view about what you want to achieve
It’s ok to celebrate and enjoy the festivities when you have diabetes at Christmas, by simply keeping these tips in mind. And for 2021 it’s time to look to reverse diabetes, lose weight and learn the system to sustainable health with our proven programme. Learn more here.
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Diabetes Friendly Christmas Cake Recipe
Here’s a extract from our Christmas Cookbook suitable for diabetes.
If you’d like to receive the full recipe book CLICK HERE.
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