If you are newly diagnosed with diabetes, navigating the tables and trays of tempting treats and regular eats can be a challenge at holiday gatherings with family, friends and coworkers.
- Take control wherever you can. Curb your hunger with a handful of nuts, an apple or a pear before you go to the party. This way you’re not ravenous when you walk through the door.
- Don’t try to save calories for the party during the day. Skipping meals ultimately positions you to overeat when you finally face food.
- Bring a dish. This way you are certain there will be at least one healthy option on the table. Roasted vegetables, crudité with hummus or spiced nuts are easy, diabetes-friendly options that everyone will enjoy.
- Party with a plan. Survey the buffet before you pile up the plate. Choose your favorites. And if you take a bite of something and you don’t like it, toss it. Save your calories for the good stuff!
- Eat your (non-starchy) veggies first. This is my mantra for people with and without diabetes. Make the first go, a round of veggies. Filling up on low calorie vegetables leaves less room for the high carbohydrate treats.
- Beware of high calorie beverages. That innocent-looking cup of eggnog can set you back 350 calories. It’s true. Eggnog, caramel apple cider and hot buttered rum are full of sugar and calories. Opt instead to sip on a small serving of regular or mulled wine, hot tea or sparkling water with a festive orange slice.
- Mingle. It’s hard to eat too much when you spend most of your time talking. Get to know your co-workers a little better. That small talk may lead to a promotion in the New Year.
- Dance! Dancing is a fun and efficient way to burn off those extra holiday carbs and calories.
As you see there are many ways to enjoy your holiday gatherings without going overboard and you don’t have to completely sacrifice your favorites. Enjoy the party and have a healthy, happy holiday season!
Marisa Moore, MBA.RD.LD. is a registered and licensed dietitian in Atlanta, GA.
Marisa works with corporations, groups and individuals to improve health outcomes in wellness, weight management, heart health and disease prevention. She also works with the food industry to develop healthy recipes, products and campaigns.
She is a media spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics and adjunct faculty at Georgia State University. Moore holds a BS in nutrition and dietetics from Georgia State University where she also earned a master’s degree in business administration.