How can I manage my blood sugar in an Ocean of Holiday Treats?
Seven Easy Tips //
The Holiday Season is a tough time for managing your weight and controlling your blood sugar. Doubly so this year – most of us are more than ready for lots of family, friends, and food!
Our Season of Indulgence offers limitless opportunities to consume big loads of refined flour and sugar, both simple carbohydrates. Delicious! Delicious! …but both are fast to convert to blood sugar and then straight to fat (since you’re not likely to be burning a lot of energy on the couch). Not good. Your blood sugar goes wild and along with it your weight and a lot of other nasty things.
But … you can enjoy the Holidays just as well while also avoiding all those nasties. Remember, blood sugar is both your fuel (your energy) and where fat begins. Fuel you don’t burn gets converted to fat. Manage your blood sugar and you help, seriously help, your weight during this Holiday Season. Other good things happen too. Try these simple strategies:
- Be prepared
Plan ahead. Don´t find yourself starving in front of a mountain of temptation. Plan your days accordingly. Eat healthy at home. Consider some healthy snacks before you go out so you can minimize your cravings. Don’t get extremely hungry.
- Avoid or Limit alcohol
Moderate amounts of alcohol usually cause blood sugar to rise, but too much can actually decrease your blood sugar level, adding to your problems. Don’t drink on an empty stomach and limit what you do drink. That’s sensible for a whole lot of other reasons too!
- Stay Hydrated
Drink lots of water. That can help regulate blood sugar levels by helping our kidneys flush out excess sugar faster. One study published in the journal Diabetes Care found that people who drink more than a liter of water a day are 28% less likely to have high blood sugar than those who drink less than half a liter.
- Make healthy choices
You won’t be at a big dinner table all the time. Pay attention between banquets. Balance your carbohydrate intake with protein and non-starchy vegetables to provide complete nutrition and help level your blood sugar. According to the American Diabetes Association, a good rule of thumb is to limit starchy foods to a maximum of 25% of your meal. Choose your carbs. Stick to whole grains and low glycemic fruits, such as berries. Throw in plenty of veggies and protein. Add good fats like avocados and olive oil. Balance. Balance.
- Healthy Low Glycemic Snacks
Healthy between-meal snacks make a big difference in managing your blood sugar level and your weight. Keep your favorite handy in case of cravings! A healthy snack should ideally have a protein content of 10-12g, dietary fiber 3-6g, complex carbs which translate into 1-2g net carbs. Sugar free / no added sugar.
- Take a 30-minute walk
Take a walk after meals. You’d be surprised how much better that makes you feel. Walking helps your body and spirit and contributes to healthy blood sugar levels and weight control. It’s fun, anyway.
- Get a Good Night´s Sleep
Sleep often affects blood sugar levels and blood sugar levels can also affect your sleep. It's a vicious cycle. A number of studies have suggested that short sleepers (less than 6 hours per night) often have irregular eating habits, are more likely to eat unhealthy food, and are twice as likely to develop or have reduced insulin sensitivity or full-blown diabetes. Get a good night’s sleep regularly. You’ll feel better. And it will go a long way toward avoiding blood sugar swings that can lead, ultimately, to diabetes.
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