It seems every year as the last pieces of leftover Halloween candy are finished up, articles start to appear on how to have a healthier holiday season. These stories are packed with suggestions on how you can eat better, what exercises are most beneficial, and even with recipes for low-carb, low-cal options of your favorite holiday dishes.
The idea of a holiday overall can be downright overwhelming, especially if you have diabetes. We’ve rounded up three obtainable habits you can implement into your daily routine now for not only a healthier holiday season but a healthier new year.
Why is it important?
Your eating and exercise patterns directly influence how your body produces and uses a sugar-regulating hormone called insulin. If your body is unable to properly produce insulin, or prevents insulin from functioning as intended, it can lead to a life-altering disease called diabetes. Over 30 million U.S. adults have diabetes and an additional 84 million have prediabetes. Diabetes can lead to a greater risk of stroke, heart disease, vision loss, kidney failure, and other serious conditions.
Try implementing these 3 manageable strategies to have a healthier holiday season and improve your overall health.
Have a glass of water when you wake up every morning and before every meal. Starting your day and each meal with a glass of water primes your digestive system and also will help your brain to better recognize when you’re full. It takes roughly 20 minutes for your brain to register that you are satiated. Since many meals can be finished within 20 minutes, it is easy to overeat. Having a glass of water approximately 30 minutes before eating will help your brain to better recognize when you’re full and prevent you from going back for unnecessary seconds.
2. Step it up
Going for a quick walk about a half hour before you eat will decrease the amount of fat and sugar that accumulate in your blood after a meal. A brisk walk before a meal will also help manage your appetite since moderate physical activity that elevates the body temperature will decrease your appetite. Not only will taking a quick walk before a meal boost your metabolism, but it also carries other benefits like lowering your blood pressure and boosting endorphins which can help perk up your mood.
3. Balance it Out
While there is no need to ban Grandma’s stuffing at Thanksgiving or your mom’s famous cut-out cookies over the holidays, it is a good strategy to be conscious of what you’re eating and try to balance your nutrition choices. If you indulge in one food for a side dish, make an effort to choose a healthier option, like a green salad or fresh fruit, for your second side. Balancing your plate can help lead to an enjoyable holiday season without additional weight gain.
If you have prediabetes, diabetes, or are interested in speaking with a provider about improving your health, Kettering Health Network has a team of physicians, dietitians, and nurses dedicated to diabetes prevention and treatment. Find a location near you.