Parties? Yes! Guilt? No! Here’s How to Party Smartly This Holiday Season

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This post was reviewed by our Director of Clinical Excellence and Oversight.

It’s always exciting to receive an invitation to a holiday party, especially now that in-person gatherings are back on the calendar. But for many people who are “watching their health,” a little bit of anxiety may sneak in along with the anticipation. That’s because parties usually mean lots of food and alcohol, making it especially easy for people with diabetes (type 1 or type 2) or pre-diabetes to consume more than they intended.
Parties? Yes! Guilt? No! Here’s How to Party Smartly This Holiday Season

The Big Questions

Whether you need to watch your blood sugar, your weight, or just want to eat healthfully, you’ll want to consider a few big questions before you head out to that holiday get-together. For example, with all the yummy food and holiday treats laid out before you, how do you avoid eating a week’s worth of carbs in one evening? Will you be able to resist the pigs-in-a-blanket and frosted Christmas cookies? Is it even fun to go to a party when you can’t eat and drink whatever you’d like?

The short answer to all these questions is yes! With some planning, nutritional know-how, and a mindful approach, you can successfully navigate seasonal socializing without spiking your blood sugar or adding unwanted pounds. In this blog post you’ll find no wagging fingers or laying on of guilt! Instead, just practical information and tips to help you enjoy the holiday season without going overboard.

diabetes icon

With some planning, nutritional know-how, and a mindful approach, you can successfully navigate holiday social events without spiking your blood sugar or adding unwanted pounds.

Holiday Party Tips to Try

Registered licensed dietician Safa Nooromid, founder of Atlanta-based Nooromid Nutrition Consulting, likes to remind her clients that the holidays are not a time for dieting. But, she says, for those with diabetes, kidney disease, and other chronic conditions, mindful eating is essential.

Nooromid emphasizes that one or two indulgent meals are not going to do lasting damage for most of us. What’s important is not to eat everything in sight just because you’ve already “blown your diet” for the day.

“If you’re heading to a social event, don’t starve before you get there—that’s a strategy for trouble,” says Nooromid. “Especially if you have diabetes, try to stay on your regular scheduled mealtime.” If the party is later in the evening, that might mean grabbing a snack at your regular dinner hour. She adds, “If you’re concerned that there may not be anything healthy to eat, volunteer to bring something!”

 A few other tips to keep on track while you socialize:

holiday party
pie

Survey the buffet. If the event includes a self-serve meal, take a stroll around the table and see what’s being offered before you add anything to your plate. If you want to taste the pie at the end, take a small portion, but you’ll probably want to avoid high carb foods for your main meal. Instead, reach for some high-fiber veggies and salads.

step-away-from-the-table-and-mingle

Step away from the table. Once you’ve gotten your food, it’s time to mingle. Eat slowly as you chat. It can take 20-30 minutes for your body and brain to get the message that you’re full and don’t need more. One way to slow things down is to eat with your non-dominant hand. Just be careful not to spill everything all over your holiday outfit!

hands holding and using a cgm

Mind your metrics. If you have diabetes, check your glucose readings a little more often if you’re on the party circuit. This is especially easy if you use a Continuous Glucose Monitor that provides constant readings.

Image of a man walking

Walk it off. After a holiday party, or even at home, get out and walk for 10-15 minutes after eating. Studies show this simple step can help control blood sugar.

know your numbers

Stress less. For people with type 2 diabetes, stress can cause your body to produce more of the hormone cortisol, which can elevate your blood sugar. If you find social settings like parties push your stress level up a notch, look for ways to help yourself feel confident. This might include only going to parties where you know many people or sticking close to a good friend.

wine

Drink smartly. Steer clear of high-calorie mixed drinks; If you are going to consume alcohol, a glass of dry wine is a better choice than the spiked eggnog. Another thing to keep in mind is that alcohol on an empty stomach can cause your blood sugar to crash. Avoid lows by sipping while you snack.

Other Healthy Holiday Habits

Eating and drinking mindfully is a big part of staying well during the holidays. It’s also important to maintain other healthy habits as you socialize. Depending on your COVID-19 vaccination status and concerns, you may want to find out how many guests will be at the party and if there will be outside air ventilation. Handwashing and sanitizing should also be on your year-round best practices list, whether socializing inside or out.

We know it’s essential to maintain our exercise habits despite the distractions of the season. If your day is too busy to fit in your regular workout, consider shorter, more intense exercise. There’s some impressive research out there about the benefits of quick—even five or 10-minute—high intensity workouts that get your heart rate up and burn calories fast. Most of these workouts, which are easy to find online, include calisthenics without rest between each move, for example 10 to 12 reps of lunges, push-ups, squats, and planks. Adding a few minutes of cardio to a high-intensity workout can make it even more valuable.

senior woman exercise outside
And finally, whether you’re planning to party hearty, or settle in for some competitive Scrabble with the family, get that flu shot! Especially for people with lung disease and other chronic conditions, being vaccinated can reduce the chance of unwanted flu-related complications and hospitalizations.
drinks

Alcohol on an empty stomach can cause your blood sugar to crash. Avoid lows by sipping while you snack.

Celebrate Your Good Health

There’s a lot to celebrate this season, including the chance to spend more time with family and friends. The ultimate gift you can give them, and yourself, is good health. Be mindful of what you eat and drink. Stay vigilant about taking your meds and getting to doctors’ appointments. And make sure to enjoy those holiday get-togethers!

It’s a busy season and Home Care Delivered knows you’ve got lots going on. That’s why we’re here (with good cheer!) to take your order, answer your questions, and ensure speedy delivery of your insurance-approved medical supplies for conditions such as diabetes, advanced wound care, ostomy, urological conditions, and incontinence.

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If you’re not yet enrolled with us, call 804-885-4101 and we’ll have you set up in minutes. If it’s easier, just enter your phone number on the bottom left of the screen and we’ll give you a call.

Happy, healthy holidays from our family to yours!

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Disclaimer:

Unless otherwise noted, the recommendations in this document were obtained from the sources indicated. Be advised that information contained herein is intended to serve as a useful reference for informational purposes only. HCD cannot be held responsible for the continued accuracy of or for any errors or omissions in the information. All trademarks and registered trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

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