It may not surprise you that diabetes is often harder to control on special occasions. Whether it's a birthday party, holiday celebration, dinner with friends, a special anniversary or Sunday brunch, blood sugars can be affected.
All of these events have one thing in common food. You may not have control over the food that is served. Or the foods served are new to you and you aren't sure how to fit them into your meal plan. Meal times may be different from your usual schedule. Also, the amount of food you eat may be more than usual. Any of these can affect your blood sugars. Here are some tips to best handle special occasions:
- If you are eating a late dinner, eat a small snack in the afternoon to prevent low blood sugar. You may be tempted to eat lightly to save up for a large dinner. However, this may just prompt you to overeat.
- If you need to take medications with your delayed meal, it's best to take your pills or insulin at this meal instead of at your regular mealtime. However, it's best to check with your diabetes team on how to handle these situations.
- In restaurants, order healthy, lower fat meals. Take some of your meal home or share an entree with someone. Even if you can't control what food is served, you can control how much you eat.
- At parties, try eating a small amount several foods. This way you can eat what you like. Smaller portions can help you stay in control.
- Do you want some dessert? It's not taboo. If you eat dessert, eat less carbohydrate (starch, fruit, milk) at that same meal. Or, learn to adjust your short or fast acting insulin for larger portions. The more you learn, the more foods you can fit in. Ask your dietitian how to fit these foods in.
- Exercise! Walk after your Thanksgiving meal or play softball at the family picnic. Add fun and physical activity to your special occasion. Make it a healthier day for everyone.
If you have questions on ways to handle your special occasions, talk to your diabetes team. Learn to enjoy these special occasions and still control your blood sugars.
This is the end of Guide to Predictable Blood Sugars, now Continue on to Weight Control