The holiday season in the Philippines is largely centered on food and eating. Many of us will indulge more than usual and then switch to dieting right at the end of the season. For those with diabetes, this is not an option. It is essential to find a balance even during the holidays and the holiday eating because consistently watching glucose levels is essential to feeling good, being able to enjoy the festivities, and achieving long term health.
Many think sugar is the only thing that people with diabetes should moderate, but many different forms of carbohydrates can affect your glucose levels as well. The allowed number of carbs is always different for each person due to factors like body weight or level of physical activity, so every meal can teach you how the carbohydrates you consume affect your body.
Most families have a signature dish or dishes which are regularly prepared for the holidays. Knowing what these are and what ingredients go into them can help in approximating how much you can eat. When you are familiar or knowledgeable on how different foods affect your glucose levels, you can easily enjoy every feast while still keeping yourself on track. The more you practice counting carbohydrates, the more you will be familiarized with the carb content of the food you usually eat. Always take notes and keep learning and consulting with your doctor. This will aid you in navigating the holiday festivities that are sure to begin and end with food.
Savoring small plates
Using a small plate makes you more conscious of the size of the portions you are eating. There are no oversized servings that many of us can sometimes yield to, and large pieces are cut down so they can fit on your plate.
Get a small amount only of your most favorite dish or those seasonal treats that are only prepared during the holidays. Eat slowly and savor each bite. Using small plates also helps if you are at a buffet where you will have to keep getting up and walking to get more food. This way, you keep moving and you eat slowly because of the pauses between plates. Just remember to limit the number of times you take filling up your plate! If standard dinner plates are your only option, have salad and vegetables first before taking on richer food.
Check glucose levels a little more than usual
Holidays are usually busy and schedules are erratic. Sometimes, in the rush of the season, one might either not have meals on time or have too much to eat. There’s also the holiday stress from all the preparation and activities. Because of all of these, it is essential to check your glucose levels more than usual because there are more factors that can affect them.
Because of the busy season, pricking your fingers may not always be convenient for a quick glucose check4. Cleanliness and disinfecting may also be an issue if you are out in public. This is why a convenient way to always keep track of your glucose levels anytime, anywhere is through the FreeStyle Libre flash glucose monitoring system of Abbott.
With the FreeStyle Libre system, you can check your glucose levels with a one-second painless scan anywhere, anytime4. By using scanning the FreeStyle Libre reader over the FreeStyle Libre sensor, you can easily find out your current glucose level and the latest 8 hours of glucose data to help you make more informed diabetes management choices14. The sensor can be easily applied to the back of your upper arm which lasts up to 14 days. Making finger pricks a thing of the past2!
It also has a free, secure, cloud-based diabetes management system called LibreView. It provides a convenient way for both patient and doctor to view glucose data remotely through clear and easy-to-understand reports.
The holidays may be hard on you because of some restrictions on your lifestyle, but when you are properly equipped to have a constant flow of data about your condition, it becomes easier for you to take control and make the right decisions for your health. Experience and get the FreeStyle Libre system here.
*All disclaimers are found on the Lazada FreeStyle Libre brand page
**Images and readings are for illustration purposes only.