Mardi Gras is known as a time of indulgence, but for those suffering from
diabetes, Carnival season can be challenging. With plenty of king cakes
to sample, it can be hard to stay on track and keep blood sugars under
control. Following these simple tips to enjoy Mardi Gras without sacrificing
Stick to your regular eating pattern. It’s tempting to skip meals, such as breakfast or lunch, in order
to “save up” for a larger meal later in the day. This can
lead to blood sugar imbalance and cause you to overeat. A balanced eating
pattern includes three meals per day with adequate snacks in between for
blood sugar control. Try to be consistent and eat around the same times
from day to day.
Practice mindful eating when indulging in high-calorie foods. Make sure to take small bites, eat
slowly, and chew your food thoroughly. This allows your brain to recognize
that you are getting full and helps prevent overeating, which can lead
to weight gain and elevated blood sugars.
Stick to your regular portion sizes. Follow the
plate method to make sure you are including low calorie, non-starchy vegetables on
your plate. Fill 1/4 of your plate with protein such as chicken, fish,
or other lean meat; 1/4 of your plate with a starch such as pasta, rice,
beans, and potatoes; and 1/2 of your plate with non-starchy vegetables
like green beans, cauliflower, broccoli, and salad. This method will allow
you to eat a full plate and enjoy your favorite foods while maintaining
proper portion control.
Choose your calories wisely! Avoid “empty calorie” drinks. Choose water most of the time,
and steer clear of sugary soft drinks, sweet teas, and fruity drinks which
can quickly add calories and spike your blood-sugar levels. If you choose
to drink alcohol, eat healthy snacks to fill your stomach and avoid overindulging,
and always talk with your doctor about whether or not alcohol is safe for you.
Continue to exercise! Stick to your regular exercise schedule, even on busy days filled with
parades. Start your day with some type of movement, or go for a walk with
family after meals to help lower post-meal blood glucose levels.