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Diabetes Holiday Survival Guide: How To Have A Sweet Christmas When You Have Diabetes

Posted by Mubasher Beg on

Diabetes Holiday Survival Guide: How To Have A Sweet Christmas When You Have Diabetes
Holidays might be the time to rejuvenate for most people, but diabetics have a different story. The sound of jingle bells, Christmas music, and social gatherings brings them stress more than joy. This holiday season has the potential to throw their diabetes management off. With home-baked food, signature recipes, and workplace lunches, diabetics are put under pressure of temptations.

This, the season of food and celebrations is equally a season of temptations for diabetics. Therefore, parties invitations do not excite them. To keep up with their healthy routine, diabetics refuse to accept party invitations. On the other hand, if they decide to accept these invitations, they end up alleviating blood sugar levels.

Managing your physical activity and healthy eating habits can get difficult  amidst all these celebrations of Christmas and New Year, which is quite understandable. But, being diabetic doesn’t mean you should ditch celebrations and your favorite Christmas pudding. The only thing you should do is ‘MANAGE’ your sugar levels.

Let’s make this holiday season enjoyable. Spend it feasting on Christmas delights and signature New Year Recipes by following these tips of  diabetes holiday survival guide.

1. Plan Ahead

During holiday gatherings, you usually don’t have control over what you are served, but you certainly know your food limits. It is quite easier to fall for sweet treats and carb feasts, but following our diabetes holiday survival guide will help you meet these temptations with an armed plan. Even before you accept the party invitation, start planning on what you are going to eat during the festivities and whatnot.

Try to anticipate the sort of food you are going to encounter during the party. Christmas pudding, English toffee, mashed potato, chocolate truffle, and turkey are common delights served in Christmas feasts. You don’t have to deprive yourself of your favorite delights. Just know that if you are going to have dessert in the evening, you need to limit your carbs intake during the day. This doesn’t mean that you have to skip a meal during the day. Starving leads to lower sugar levels, which isn’t right for you. Just plan out your meal for the day to keep the fluctuating sugar levels at bay.   

2. Count Your Carbs

Diabetes management doesn’t only require cutting down on sugary food and consuming everything else. The entire catch is to watch your total carbohydrates intake. It is so because carbohydrates are digested into glucose AKA sugar molecules in your body later on. A high intake of carbohydrates would mean elevated blood sugar levels.

Therefore, it is imperative to know the carb count of the food that you are going to encounter during the feasts and parties so that managing your diet plan can be hustle free. To make it convenient, Abudo’s diabetes holiday survival guideline id providing you a list of foods with their carb counts that are likely served during this time of the year. 

Food Dish* Serving Size Carbs Count
Chocolate Truffle 1 person 50 grams
Stuffed Turkey 1 person 51 grams
Apple Pie 1 piece 43 grams
Steak Frites 1 plate 0-5  grams
Cheesy Nachos 1 piece 29 grams
Mushroom pizza 1 slice 39 grams
Baked Onion Dip 2 pieces 10 grams
Lemon Tart 1 container 14 grams
English Toffee 1 person 27 grams
Pumpkin Pie Per container 57 grams
Fruit Cake  Per Piece 26 grams
Roasted Ham Per person 1 gram


*All the grams mentioned in the table are for the standard size.

With this guideline, you cannot only determine the carb content of these foods, but it can help you decide the best food to consume. For example, if you are craving for chocolate truffle, which has 50 grams of carbs per bowl, we would recommend you to have a small portion of it, a couple of hours after your main meal.

Limit your carb intake and enjoy the stress free holidays 

 3. Hit The Weights

Holidays mean a break from your work but not from the workout. It’s the season of overindulgence, so one of the best ways to control your sugar levels as per diabetes holiday survival guide is to exercise before you go out for the big feast in the evening.

Exercise will boost insulin sensitivity, making your cells more responsive to it. Better cell response to insulin leads to the controlled sugar levels and managed diabetes. Go as hard on the treadmill as you would on food, in the evening.  Your muscles will enjoy the carbs and proteins you will consume in the evening and facilitate their utilization in the body.  

4. Set Your Travel Goals Tactfully

If your holiday season is all about traveling, then make sure to consult your doctor before planning your trip. They will evaluate your glucose levels, overall health state, and advice on necessary precautions. We at abudo recommend you pack your glucometer, medications, and any extra supplies that will help in having a less stressful time. 

In a nutshell, keeping a track of your sugar levels quite often will help you have the best time of the year without worrying about diabetes. 

5. Socialize More, Eat Less

So, you are at a party that has sugar, spice and everything nice. What would you choose, food or people? Our diabetes holiday survival guide suggests you to overlook food (a little) this time and try spending time socializing. No, we aren’t suggesting that you skip food altogether. After all, imagine all the delicacies this time of the year brings!  

We simply suggest that you fill your plate with foods with fewer carbs and then pass your time chit-chatting with people. You can even talk to a stranger. Ask them about their health, work, and life in general. All of this will distract you from temptations and will help you control your cravings to aid an excellent time.

Balancing sweet tooth and diabetes is tricky, but it is not impossible. You need to take the role of a captain sailing a ship 24/7 hours. Be vigilant in following diabetes holiday survival guide and keep a strict check on your glucose levels, whether you are in a holiday phase or not. A little care on a daily intake of carbs, fats, and proteins will help you conquer diabetes.


  1. Eat This Much. (n.d.). Food & Recipe Browser https://www.eatthismuch.com/food/browse/

  2. WebMD. 2016. Food Calculator https://www.webmd.com/diet/healthtool-food-calorie-counter

  3. Christel Oerum. 2017. Managing Diabetes During The Holidays https://beyondtype1.org/managing-diabetes-holidays/

  4. Center for Disease Control & Prevention. (n.d). 5 Healthy Eating Tips for the Holidays https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/library/features/holidays-healthy-eating.html