3 Ways to Keep Your Health Goals on Track for the Holidays by WeightWatchers

The holidays can feel tricky when you’re living with diabetes. To-do lists are longer. Stress levels are higher. And traditional meals aren’t the easiest on blood glucose (blood sugar). These expert-backed tips will help you celebrate the season without losing sight of your health goals.

3 Ways to Keep Your Health Goals on Track for the Holidays

Embrace Balance

It’s easy to take on an all-or-nothing mindset with food, especially when the holidays roll around: You swear off treats completely. But if you make a misstep? Well, then you might as well just forget your whole healthy-eating plan altogether. But, as with life, eating patterns aren’t so black and white.
 
“You don’t have to give up your favorite foods completely to be healthy,” says Angela Goscilo, MS, RD, a registered dietitian and senior manager of nutrition at WeightWatchers®. Instead of depriving yourself, Goscilo says to just be strategic about them:
• Make smart swaps. Mashed potatoes are the star of Thanksgiving sides, but they can run higher in carbs. Try making them with equal parts cauliflower and potatoes for a lower-carb, higher-fiber version.
• Start with non-starchy veggies. You’re at the office party and dinner is pizza—not the best for your glucose. Get some salad greens first—the fiber will help fill you up and may help blunt your blood sugar response from the cheesy, doughy main course.
  •  
  • Make Room for “Me” Time
After the past few years of isolation, having a packed social calendar can feel like a breath of fresh air—just make sure you squeeze in time for you. “Like diet and exercise, self-care and sleep are key for managing diabetes,” says Barbra Sassower, MPH, RD, a registered dietitian and certified diabetes care and education specialist (CDCES) at WeightWatchers. People living with diabetes who get less than seven hours of sleep are more likely to experience insulin resistance, and being stressed-out can raise blood glucose.

 
Ask yourself: What can I do to decompress every day? Whether winding down by diffusing essential oils or listening to a true crime podcast, find what works for you, and schedule it in—like you would an important doctor’s appointment or work meeting. “My clients who start doing this tell me it helped them to start sleeping better or reduced their stress, and that their eating habits improved,“ says Sassower. “And, as a result, their blood sugar seems easier to control.”

Find Others Who Get It

Research shows that being part of a diabetes support group—in-person or online—can improve A1C numbers, mental health, and motivation to stick with healthy behaviors. And that could all really come in handy during a time of year with lots of distractions. On Connect, WeightWatchers’ in-app social media platform, there’s a Living with Diabetes group that’s “a great place to find support and get actionable tips and advice,” says Sassower. “Most of my patients light up when I tell them about it. Knowing that there are others successfully achieving their goals is such a relief to them.”


WeightWatchers is committed to supporting people living with diabetes and during November 2022, and January, February, and April 2023, WeightWatchers will donate $1 from every membership purchased via the promotional link to the American Diabetes Association®. Learn more about the WeightWatchers Diabetes-Tailored Plan.
 

^ Based on a six-month multicenter trial. Apolzan, J.W., et al. (2022, June 3–7). A Scalable, Virtual Weight Management Program Tailored for Adults with Type 2 Diabetes: Effects on Glycemic Control. American Diabetes Association, 82nd Scientific Sessions, New Orleans, LA. Study funded by WW International, Inc.


 

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