How to Manage Your Diabetes & Still Enjoy Life

If you’re diabetic, it doesn’t mean that you can’t have fun and enjoy life. In fact, follow these suggestions and you may just embrace life more than ever before!

The word diabetes can be scary to hear. Although it may rank as high on the negativity list as cancer, it is a diagnosis that no one wants to receive nonetheless. It means making life changes and that can put a damper on your attitude and lifestyle, making you wonder how you will ever be happy again.

However, being diabetic doesn’t mean that you’ve been given a ball and chain to wear from now until the day you die. It simply means that you need to choose behaviors that help you manage your blood sugar while still allowing you to enjoy your life.

Here are three things that will help you achieve both of those goals:

Get In Touch With Your Inner Chef

woman cooking

Because being diabetic likely means eating in a way that you’re not used to, you may need to expand your culinary horizons to come up with dishes that don’t make you feel as if you are depriving yourself. This opens the opportunity to learn new ways to cook up your favorite dishes without sending your blood sugar on a high or low that could potentially put you in serious danger.

One way to do this is to look for cooking classes available in your area and sign up for their next available course. You can also watch the Cooking Channel as there are a lot of shows that will teach you how best to prepare food to keep your diabetes in check. Even if the show isn’t diabetes focus, remembering to stick to meals that contain lean proteins, complex carbohydrates that are high in fiber and low in calories, vegetables, and fruit that is lower in sugar will help you prepare dishes that are both tasty and satisfying.

You can also just play around in your kitchen if you’re already an herb and spice connoisseur and see what you come up with. Make diabetic friendly swaps (like lettuce in place of bread on sandwiches and spaghetti squash versus pasta) and see how it tastes. Who knows? You may just create a new dish that makes your taste buds scream for more.

Revamp Your Nights Out

girls clubbing

When you are diabetic, you’re best to limit your alcohol intake as most options tend to be high in sugar (even beer, even though it doesn’t taste very sweet). But that doesn’t mean that you can’t go out with your gal pals and enjoy a beverage or two; you just have to change the order in which you do things.

A lot of nights on the town start with drinks and end up eating high fat food later in the evening to soak up some of the alcohol (and satisfy your munchies). However, if you simply switch up the order of your activities on your nights out, you can still have food and drinks…and a good time.

Eat first so that you’re not drinking on an empty stomach and spiking your blood sugar. Because watching your weight is also important if you have diabetes, it’s good to choose a food option that is healthier and lower in calories (and contains limited carbs and sugars). Of course, since you’re not drinking first, this will be easier to do since you’re less likely to be swayed by alcohol brain.

After you’ve got food in your tummy, feel free to order a drink. Ideally, you’ll want to stick to light options (such as light beer, wine spritzers, or mixed drinks with diet soda) and try to sip it slowly as you don’t want to overdo it. Make sure you keep an eye on your blood sugar all evening and even the next day as alcohol can bring about hypoglycemia for 24 hours after you’ve had your last drink.

Sign Up for Activities You Enjoy

women fitness

Being diabetic means that you will enjoy a higher quality of life if you are active. Not only does this keep your weight in check (which is extremely important for people with diabetes), but it also makes it easier to control your blood sugar. All systems within the body are interrelated so the healthier you are as a whole, the easier your diabetes will be to manage.

Check with local gyms to see if they have fitness programs that interest you. If you like to dance, contact dance studios and see what programs they offer. If you can’t find what you want, get a group together yourself. Grab a couple of friends and start a walking group or rotate between your houses to get the use of different pieces of fitness equipment without having to join a gym.

Exercise shouldn’t be something that you dread, but an activity that you look forward to. So, if nothing you’ve done so far makes you want to go back for more, it’s time to keep exploring until you find an activity that makes you smile.

Just make sure you check with your doctor first so you don’t do more harm than good. Stay hydrated and keep glucose tablets or a snack with you in case you start to feel a sugar low. Sports drinks work great for times when you’ll be active for extended periods.

Do these things and you will still enjoy life regardless of your blood sugar issues. Don’t let diabetes control your life! When you control your diabetes, that is when life happens best.

About the author

Christina DeBusk

Changing careers mid-life from law enforcement to writing, Christina spends her days helping others enrich their businesses and personal lives one word at a time.

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