A very merry gestational diabetes Christmas! Said no one EVER! Getting together with family and friends during the holidays can be tons of fun! But it can also be stressful when you have gestational diabetes. I want to give you some helpful hints so that you can focus on the fun and making memories and not worry about what you can & can’t eat.
Gestational Diabetes Christmas – 9 tips & tricks to help you thrive!
- Focus on the family & friends, not the food. Easier said than done, I know. But try. Schedule the event at a time other than mealtime. Don’t have food sitting out all day to graze on. Focus on making memories and cherish the time you have with friends and family.
- Don’t deprive yourself. If you feel deprived, you’ll end up overeating later or eating junk later. I’d rather see you have a small portion of something that you really want and work it into your meal plan so that feel successful and in control.
- Have a plan. Find out what’s going to be served ahead of time so you can come up with a plan. It’s always easier knowing ahead of time so you can have an idea what you can eat as opposed to making an impulsive decision. If you’re going out to eat, look up the menu online before you go. And if you can, order first. That way, you won’t be tempted by what other people are ordering.
- Bring a dish with you that you know you can have. If you bring a dish, you know exactly what’s in it. And you know it’s something that will work for you.
- Try a new beverage. Hot herbal teas are a great option. They are perfect for the cold weather, and they have so many flavors that feel indulgent and holidayish – peppermint, rooibos, and cinnamon are some of my faves!
- Have healthy appetizers & snacks. If you have healthy appetizers and snacks around, you might find that you eat less during the actual meal. And if those snacks include veggies, you’re getting added fiber, vitamins and minerals too! One of my favorite options is veggies and hummus. If you’re not into hummus, veggies and a vegan ranch or green goddess dressing made from raw cashews and a high-speed blender is a great alternative.
- Serve desserts as individual portions. Serving individual desserts helps with portion control. It takes away the temptation to cut bigger pieces of cake or to add one more scoop of ice cream to the bowl. It’s also fun to make individual portions using 2-ounce or 3-ounce dessert cups. And they look super pretty too!
- Go for a walk. Exercise after a meal can help lower your blood sugar. Research has showed that blood sugar levels hit their peak about 90 minutes after a meal. So, if you exercise before then, ideally 30 minutes after eating, it will prevent your blood sugar levels from spiking as high. (1)
- Continue to test your blood sugar as you normally do. If you do overeat, it’s important not to let the fear get in the way of testing. It’s important to know what the results are. And remember that one bad number isn’t going to change your gestational diabetes treatment plan. Your healthcare team looks for patterns of high numbers before making any changes.
I hope these ideas are helpful! A gestational diabetes Christmas is very manageable, but planning ahead is key! If you have any other ideas that work for you, I’d love to hear them!