Holiday Strategies?

This will be my first Christmas holidays since diagnosed Type I and being on insulin. I'm comfortable and satisfied with adjustments in my eating to maintain a moderately low carb diet (100 - 150g / day). One way I do this is by limiting sweets and junk.

But, wow - it sometimes seems to me that the holidays are synonymous with treat foods! I've already offended a co-worker in turning down their heartfelt offer of what was probably a delicious home-baked goodie.. Sometimes in my effort to avoid every social interaction with food becoming a discussion about my diabetes I'll say something like, "I'm just not that into sweets." - but I find people can respond with defensiveness, etc. to that kind of comment. But then I'm frustrated when my, "Thanks, but no thanks - I'm diabetic!" elicits pity, awkwardness, etc.

Anyways, I'm wondering if there are old hat diabetics out there who may have advice or some strategies for a newbie preparing for how to manage the onslaught of high carb treats December can bring.....

I just say I don't eat sugar or sweets...I'm not really interested in going into the big Diabetes explanation/ or getting into a debate about a sugar free peach pie which a PWD knows really has more carbs than standard peach pie.

You should Never feel like you have to make a excuse for turning down food. People always ask me if they can bake me something special and I tell them no I just eat regular food meat and vegetables ...I know the low sugar treat will probably be packed with carbs. There are some good low carb snacks but most people have no idea.

I'm not saying I will not treat myself to some sugar delight, it just needs to be on my terms with no pressure, I don't want to scold myself later for a high BG, if it happens it happens and I will take my medicine with no guilt ...;-)

i dont find the offering of the sweets as bad as the annoyance of seeing everyone else eating delicious sugary goodness without thinking while i sip a coca cola zero. last xmas i was just three weeks in and really ddnt know what was going on, how to manipulate insulin, just sh*tting myself, basically. a whole year on and i know how to do everthing, more or less. probably less than more. i just say no thanks and people usually arent offended. i wouldnt be if i were them, i would think, oh good, more for me!

I have found that many people who are pushing sweet stuff at any holiday are offended because they don't want to be reminded that it's something they probably should not be eating, either. They want everyone else to indulge so they don't have to feel so guilty. I don't care if they do that, I just don't intend to participate, any more than I would participate if they were passing drugs around. I don't feel obligated to give a reason for saying "no thank you."

Thanks for these responses, folks. All good reminders that I don't have to take on the crappy feelings others can put out there with their offers of sweet treats. I've also been baking up a storm of low-carb treats (e.g. spiced nuts) that I plan to bring with me to parties, etc. so I won't be empty-handed.

Interesting essay (although not entirely relevant to this conversation) here: - there's a part about binge-eating vs. feasting that has me thinking about food and celebration and I wonder how the relationship between the two will change/has already changed because of my diabetes...

All I can add to the discussion is to say "who cares what others" think" Pity? I don't think so. Maybe they do pity you, but how do you know? I think that, although the disease is no picnic, there is an upside. They don't have to pity us. Maybe we should pity them! We have a feedback loop. If we do as others do at the holiday, or any other time, we're probably going to pay for it one way or 'tother. So you learn not to do the bad stuff, or somehow compensate for it. Insulin, exercise, etc. Meanwhile your possibly "pitying" friend is happily chowing down, gaining weight, etc. and maybe not realizing the damage they are doing to themselves until it's really hard to make it better (dieting...)

I know, it may be a different way to look at things. But after 55 years of T1 that's where I come out.


You got to understand that the bearer of the treat put a lot of pride and effort into preparing it for their friends and family so I try to be understanding of them. My problem can also be the food police, With them around I don't have to worry about the other.

A stratgey you might use is to say "Ooh that looks delicious, I'm just not sure I took enough insulin to cover that much sugar. Can I save this for later?" After you leave with the treat in hand they will never know whether you ate it or not. They will eat least think you valued their creation. And who knows you might find a way to fit it in with a little planning.

thats good. very good to have the possibility of scoffing the treat later.

I just eat the stuff and bolus for it. The work Xmas party was *tons* of food and not a lot of low carb stuff. I made brownies, with green and red M&Ms but ate chicken, italian beef (86 the roll), a taco salad and some Spanish rice, bolused for it ok and things worked out fine. I didn't eat a lot of anything but tried a few cookies after lunch, when it was clear that I didn't quite eat 55G of carbs as my BG didn't run up as much as I thought it might.

Mike's video on holiday eating strategies

I love his videos!


Dave I look at it exactly the same way. I am much newer to this than you (four years) but I could care less what others think about what I choose to eat. I am finally at a point where feeling well is the most important thing. The importance of that far outweighs anything else.

his vids are excellent. i made my mom watch diabetes police one, she kind of needed it...

I just say thanks, I would love to and take it. They don't have to know that I don't eat it. I just put it aside. I don't have to explain myself and it makes it simple for me. For the most part the people I work with every day know I am a diabetic and I don't eat most of the holiday crap anyway. But it sure does take some self control to avoid it especially when vendors send us baskets of baked goods or chocolate.

I actually just did a big rant on another site about this the other day! I turned down two things that day and both times people were like, "Awww, but it's sooooo good!!!!" I'm sure it was good, but it annoys me SO MUCH that people take celiac and allergies seriously, but somehow think diabetics can cheat. I have a severe food allergy and people back off right away on that front yet if I say no because of diabetes they ask if I'm sure, say it's sooooo good, say one treat won't hurt, and so on. I'm going to start saying I won't eat it because it will make my blood sugar high. Maybe people somehow understand that eating such-and-such will make someone with celiac or an allergy sick because it's more visible than high blood sugar.