A Nutritionist’s Tips for Managing Blood Sugar During the Holidays


Prepared or not, the vacations are upon us. And whereas this time of yr brings forth all-things merry, shiny, and absolutely delicious, the bounty of the vacation season is a slippery slope. Be it one too many slices of pie or an extra treat together with your morning coffee, it’s straightforward to really feel lower than stellar come January 1. And feeling sluggish, responsible, or something lower than grateful isn’t the aim. So, the place’s the blissful medium? Thankfully, you’ll be able to have a good time the vacations with out sacrificing your well being. And we now have simply the motion plan for you.

Whether or not or not you could have diabetes, learn on to be taught our prime tricks to create a blood sugar-friendly vacation season. Our hope is that you simply’ll really feel vibrant, wholesome, and blissful when the clock strikes midnight on December 31. In flip, you received’t have to “get again on monitor” in early 2023.

Characteristic picture by Kristen Kilpatrick.

Image by Michelle Nash

Optimum Well being Begins With Vitamin

With regards to optimum well being, there are a number of foundational items to the puzzle: high quality sleep, day by day movement, self-care (this contains minimizing stress!), and high quality nutrition. Of this record, what’s in your plate is on the tippy prime. In any case, meals fuels each cell within the physique. Due to this fact, understanding what’s best for you could make all of the distinction. In the event you’re undecided the place to start, this meal plan is a good place to begin. In the end—as bio-individuals—all of us have completely different dietary wants, meals preferences, and cravings. But one factor stays common: stable blood sugar.

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Everyone Benefits From Balanced Blood Sugar

First and foremost, everyone benefits from stable blood sugar—not just pre-diabetics and diabetics. It’s instrumental for both near-term and long-term health. Personally, it helped me put my PCOS into remission. It additionally improved my relationship with food and my physique. To say I’m obsessed with blood sugar is an understatement. To at the present time, I educate my clients the right way to stability their blood sugar for higher sleep, hormone health, and optimized fertility. For good purpose, it’s a sizzling vitamin matter. Earlier than we dive into the right way to create a blood sugar-friendly vacation season, let’s cowl the fundamentals.

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What’s blood sugar?

With regards to having extra vitality, optimizing your well-being, physique composition objectives, minimizing continual illness, and so on. we wish to maintain blood sugar balanced. However, what’s blood sugar? With out figuring out precisely what it means, you’ve in all probability heard of the time period. Balancing blood sugar is essential—it performs a task in every thing from sleep to cognitive perform. The truth is, you could already be accustomed to spikes and dips in blood sugar. Hiya, hanger! That stated, few acknowledge its impacts each day.

Blood sugar = The quantity of sugar (glucose) in your blood at any given time.

Sugar, or glucose, is the physique’s major supply of vitality. The time period “blood sugar” refers back to the quantity of vitality (sugar) current in our bloodstream at one set time. Sugar is produced once we break down any type of carbohydrate. Be it an orange, pecan pie bar, or a chunk of toast, that carb is absorbed into our bloodstream. Instantly or ultimately, carbohydrates are used as gas.

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Keep away from Blood Sugar Peaks And Dips

All through the day, blood sugar ranges fluctuate. These fluctuations are regular. The truth is, we anticipate a gentle rise in glucose after waking, as our meals digests, and even once we train. Nevertheless, we wish to decrease actually excessive spikes and equally low dips. Partially, as a result of these sugar spikes and crashes don’t make us really feel our greatest. Over time, they’ll result in unwanted health conditions. In essence, a wholesome blood sugar response is one the place we now have glucose balance after consuming.

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There’s No Want To Reduce Carbs

You learn that proper. Fortunately, you don’t must avoid carbohydrates (particularly throughout the holidays!) to handle your blood sugar. Entire meals sources of carbohydrates—like 100% entire grains, fruits, and greens—supply the additional benefit of fiber. Fiber helps sluggish digestion and decrease blood sugar peaks. Although most carbohydrates are damaged down into sugar molecules, fiber is an outlier. As a substitute, fiber passes by the physique, undigested. In flip, it helps decrease constipation, regulates starvation cues, and reduces the glycemic index. Win, win, win.

Wish to nerd out on blood sugar? Now we have just the resource for you!

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10 Tips To Create A Blood Sugar-Friendly Holiday Season

Without further ado, below are specific tips to keep your blood sugar in check during the holidays. And good news: these tips can be incorporated year-round! Learn how to care for your body while still enjoying the holiday season.

1. Focus On A Balanced Diet

Depending on your holiday plans, there are only a handful of days when you’re likely eating out of the norm. These are special moments spent with special people—enjoy! In the grand scheme of things, the holidays are a blip on the radar. All of that being said, when it comes to the meals surrounding the holidays, a balanced plate is key: aim for half a plate of non-starchy carbs (greens, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, bell peppers, and so on.), a fist-sized quantity of protein (4-6-oz), 1-2 sources of wholesome fat, and a serving (1/2-1 cup) of slow-digesting carbs (oats, quinoa, candy potatoes, and so on.).

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2. Don’t Skip Breakfast

It might be tempting—to save room for turkey—however that’s really doing extra hurt than good to your blood sugar ranges. While you skip breakfast, you’re working on cortisol. Cortisol, our stress hormone, will trigger elevated blood sugar by lunch (and probably, dinner). The aim is to honor your hunger, however contemplate whether or not you’re deliberately suppressing your urge for food within the morning. In the event you get up and aren’t hungry inside half-hour to an hour of waking, contemplate one thing straightforward to digest: the adrenal cocktail, a small bowl of chia pudding, or a smoothie.

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3. Begin Your Day With Protein

Talking of breakfast, go for a protein-forward morning meal. Beginning your day with protein has been shown to stabilize blood sugar and might lower highs and lows over the course of the day. Protein is satiating, takes longer than carbohydrates to digest, and helps maintain blood sugar balanced. While you don’t begin your day on a blood sugar rollercoaster, it’s simpler to take care of steady glucose ranges. For vacation brunch, make a frittata (full of protein and fiber), contemplate this enjoyable breakfast board, or bake these banana pumpkin muffins—they’re holiday-inspired with out refined sugar.

4. Eat At Common Intervals

This goes with out saying, however purpose to eat meals at common intervals throughout the day. For many, that’s each 3-4 hours. Skipping breakfast (or any meal) can really improve blood sugar while you lastly sit all the way down to eat. Nevertheless, consuming each few hours helps maintain blood sugar in test by not letting it dip too low. Once more, stability is the aim. Whereas this isn’t about consuming consistently, it’s about consuming constantly. Curious to know what your blood sugar is doing throughout the day? Take into account carrying a continuous glucose monitor.

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5. Handle Stress

Stress elevates cortisol—one among our physique’s major stress hormones. This may improve blood sugar and insulin ranges. Cortisol additionally will increase secretion of leptin, a hormone that performs a task in urge for food management. Leptin secretion can cut back satiety and make you’re feeling extra hungry. Vacation stressors are inevitable, however that doesn’t imply you’ll be able to’t discover methods to cherish your rituals, find time for meditation, and set proper boundaries. Whether or not it’s sticking to your funds or politely declining a boozy get-together, handle psychological well being as a way to assist handle your blood sugar.

6. Make A Plan

Apprehensive concerning the choice of meals at your subsequent vacation social gathering? Plan forward of time. Significantly should you’re heading to a potluck, deliver a dish with you that’s each scrumptious and blood sugar-friendly. For instance, these Brussels sprouts. By doing so, you should have at the least one nourishing merchandise to spherical out the opposite indulgent dishes. Nevertheless, this isn’t about deprivation. Take pleasure in what your family and friends members contribute! Reasonably, it’s about giving your self the added enhance of vitamins to assist your blood sugar.

Image by Michelle Nash

7. Choose Blood Sugar-Friendly Spirits

Alcohol and blood sugar can be a tricky subject (especially if you have diabetes). When you drink alcohol—no matter the type—your liver kicks into gear to metabolize the alcohol. In turn, these substances block the liver from making new glucose. Blood sugars fall and you can quickly dip too low. Research additionally exhibits that consuming can have an effect on your blood sugar for as much as 12 hours. In the end, the most effective varieties of alcohol are these with a low sugar or carb content material. We have you covered! In any other case, distilled spirits or exhausting liquors comprise few-to-no carbs. Suppose gin, rum, vodka, and whiskey.

8. Take Benefit Of Sugar Alternate options

With regards to baking your favourite pie, bars, cookies, or cake, go for lower glycemic sugar alternatives. My favorites are monkfruit and allulose. They’re straightforward to bake with and also you received’t style the distinction! Swapping refined sugar (and even maple syrup) for these options can drastically enhance your blood sugar response. As we all know, the vacations are a sugar bonanza. And an excessive amount of sugar is a precursor to every thing from complications and bloating to poor sleep, feeling jittery or anxious, and irritability.

Image by Riley Reed

9. Don’t Underestimate The Energy Of Strolling

Reasonable, day by day motion is helpful for total well being—however it’s particularly useful for managing blood sugar ranges. A reasonably vigorous effort for half-hour (assume: brisk strolling, biking, or power coaching) can considerably profit insulin regulation. All of that to say, a post-meal walk does wonders. The truth is, it’s often called the simplest habit to stabilize glucose. In between Thanksgiving dinner and dessert, corral your loved ones and go for a nature stroll, throw a soccer within the yard, and even encourage a dance social gathering—something to get transferring and grooving.

10. Use Dietary supplements, Strategically

Final however not least, don’t overlook about your dietary supplements throughout the vacation season. Taking high-quality dietary supplements can assist improve insulin sensitivity and reduce blood sugar ranges. Take into account the next dietary supplements to assist assist steady blood sugar:

  • Multivitamin—helps any dietary deficiencies (widespread throughout the holidays!).
  • Probiotic—helps intestine well being, and gut health impacts blood sugar.
  • Vitamin D—helps immune and hormonal well being.
  • Fish oil—helps lower irritation.
  • Magnesium—helps handle insulin and carbohydrate metabolism.

As at all times, seek the advice of a professional well being care practitioner earlier than beginning any new dietary supplements—particularly in case you are taking drugs.



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