Tips for diabetics during the holidays

Brenda Hollis, dietary director at Rolling Plains Memorial Hospital, was the speaker at this month's Lunch and Learn seminar. The topic discussed was how to manage diabetes during the holiday season. Hollis had these tips for diabetics during this time of year:• Weight management. Focus on weight management rather than weight loss.• Exercise. Plan time for exercise. Exercise helps relieve holiday stress and prevents weight gain.• Meals. Do not skip meals. Skipping breakfast or lunch before a big holiday dinner actually may cause one to overeat.• Healthy choices. If you know that you will not find any healthy choices, offer to bring something along, such as a salad, vegetable dish, chicken or fish.• Appetite control. Pace yourself and become more aware of what you are eating and drinking. Eat until you are satisfied, not stuffed.• Portion control. Select small portions. This will allow you to enjoy all the different foods offered, while still controlling your calorie intake.• Alcohol. If you drink, select light wines and beers, rather than mixed drinks. Alcohol is high in calories.• Nibble temptation. Stand away from buffet tables and food trays to avoid the urge to nibble constantly.• Family and friends. Talk more, eat less. Make the holiday season about enjoying company, rather than all about the food.• The rainbow. Fill your plate with a rainbow of colors. Choose different varieties of fruits and vegetables often.• No, thank you. Learn to say "no" politely. You can say "No, thank you. I've had enough. Everything was delicious." This works even with someone who will not take no for an answer.• Compliments. Social events do not mean that you have to totally abandon proper eating habits and your prescribed diet or wreak havoc on your waistline. Even if you are not completely successful at eating right, compliment yourself for trying and then try harder the next time!