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 The Mayo Clinic explains that diabetes mellitus “refers to a group of diseases that affect how your body uses blood glucose...Glucose is vital to your health because it’s an important source of energy for the cells that make up your muscles and tissues...If you have diabetes, no matter what type, it means you have too much glucose in your blood, although the reasons may differ.  Too much glucose can lead to serious health problems.”

The International Diabetes Federation reports that 382 million people worldwide are suffering from some sort of diabetes.  Within the United States alone, 25.8 million people or 8.3% of the total population, have been diagnosed with some form of diabetes, according to the American Diabetes Association.  

Know the menu.  Find out what will be served and adjust your menu plan to fit what will be available. 

  • Eat a light and healthy snack before you go.  Then you will not be ravenously hungry as you make selections for your plate.  
  • Have a plan.  Know what you are going to eat and what you will say if someone offers you something you shouldn’t eat.  Don’t feel pressured to make unhealthy decisions. 
  • Share your favorites.  Offer to bring a dish or dessert that is safe for you.  Make enough to share with your friends.
  • Make space for veggies.  Fill one half of your plate with dishes made from fresh vegetables.  On the other half of your plate, put small portions of dishes that are richer or higher in calories.
  • Walk away.  After you fill your plate from the buffet, go to another room to eat.  Then you will not be tempted to go back for another round of food.
  • Find a buddy.  Team up with a friend who is also watching what they eat.  This does not mean delegating the responsibility for what you eat.  Instead, it means having someone to keep you company when you are steering clear of seconds at the dessert table.
  • Don’t drink your calories.  Choose water or unsweetened tea to accompany your meal.  Save your calories for foods that you enjoy!
  • Enjoy your dessert.  Take a small portion of a dessert that you really enjoy and do not go back for seconds or split a dessert with a friend.  Once you are finished eating, spend time talking with family, go for a walk with your buddy, or offer to help in the kitchen.  
  • Focus on loved ones.  The holidays are about spending time with your loved ones.  Enjoy the time together and don’t focus on food.  Look for ways to spend time together that aren’t centered around meals, like volunteering at a soup kitchen, homeless shelter, or nursing home.  
  • Start over.  If you eat too much, don’t beat yourself up.  Allow yourself to begin again.  Tomorrow is a new day, full of opportunities to make healthy decisions.
  • Eat slowly.  Take your time and enjoy the food you have chosen.  
  • Don’t be a couch potato.  Stay active throughout the holiday season.  It is easy to let exercise slide when you are faced with a busy holiday schedule.  Make time to be active and stay on your exercise routine.
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