From the beginning of fall to New Year’s Day, we are all tempted by pumpkin spice everything, creamy and rich holiday comfort foods, and holiday party cocktails galore. So, the bigger question is: How can we enjoy our favorite holiday foods without raising our blood sugar? As a functional medical doctor, here are my top three tips for managing healthy blood sugar levels so you will be able to fully engage in all the holiday festivities:
Practice mindful eating.
First things first: It is completely OK to keep your favorite dessert on your plate and to indulge in that treat—I just would not suggest doing so continuously over time. This usually happens with leftover Thanksgiving desserts, for example. Instead of having three different kinds of pies sitting in your kitchen, send a few slices home with friends or family members.
While you should not deprive yourself of enjoying these tasty treats (definitely do not give them all away!), eating leftover pumpkin pie each night for three or four days could take a toll on blood sugar.
Sneak in a workout.
If you know you are going to your best friends Thanksgiving, try working up an appetite before you go. Sneaking in a fast high-intensity interval training exercise is a great way to do that.
Not only do you break a sweat in a short amount of time, but it also stabilizes your blood sugar and revs up your metabolism. Add in some strength training if you have a few extra minutes to spare.
Eat satiating snacks.
Eat fiber and protein-filled snacks before you arrive at a holiday gathering. Oftentimes we get full on chips, crackers, bread, etc., once we get to the party because we have been waiting to eat until we get there. I highly recommend snacking on nourishing and satiating food before you arrive so your brain can make smarter, healthier decisions and stop you from spoiling the main event: your dinner.
Flaxseed crackers, nuts, and Protein bars are some of my favorite snacks to eat before attending social events—I know they will keep me full and won’t raise my blood sugar.
Author: Scott Dowdy