Bloomington / Normal, IL

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Surviving the Holidays


By Sam Fowler, PMAC

Diabetics always need to be thoughtful of what they consume, which can be a challenge on any given day. But keeping on track during the holiday season can be tougher than normal with scrumptious holiday food in abundance. Diabetics need to remember that carbohydrate-rich meals will break down into sugar, which can be fatal if not properly controlled.

Here are seven strategies to survive the holidays while keeping your diabetes in check.

  1. Shift your focus from food to family and friends. Distract yourself from the holiday temptations by spending additional time with your loved ones; this may be the only time of year you get to connect with them!
  2. Think moderation. One staple of the holiday season is foods that you usually only get at this time of year. Eat slowly and savor the flavors. Take reasonable portions and say no to seconds.
  3. Pre-game. Eat before your holiday meal. This way you won’t arrive starving and you are less likely to overeat. This will also help to keep your blood sugar in check.
  4. Bring a dish. You may be the only one at your holiday gathering with diabetes, so others may not be aware of your nutritional restrictions. Don’t expect others to make diabetic-friendly food. Contribute to the meal by bringing your favorite diabetes-friendly dish. It will save time in the kitchen and it may be a new hit!
  5. Be the DD (designated driver). Keep in mind that alcohol can mess with your blood sugar and add lots of calories to your total intake. Limit yourself to just one or two drinks, or be the DD. Remember, DD’s have more fun!
  6. Stay active. The holidays can raise havoc with your body, but make sure you take time each day to exercise. This will help control both your diabetes and your weight during the holiday season.
  7. Get back on track! If you fall into the holiday pitfall of overeating, don’t beat yourself up. Stop eating for that night and make a resolution to wake up the next morning back in your regular routine. One slip up does not have to derail your health — you’re in charge!

The holidays are a challenge to your diabetic health, especially if this is a fairly new diagnosis. There are multiple diabetic support groups in town that you can connect with.

Contact the foot care specialists at Heartland Foot and Ankle Associates by calling 309-661-9975 or visiting for support and encouragement during the holiday season and throughout the New Year.

Photo credit: FotoSpeedy/iStock