Yes… just a little… maybe later… No! What do you say to the food tempters over the holidays?

Dr Gary
By Dr GaryCA Latest Reply 2013-12-11 21:32:30 -0600
Started 2013-12-08 21:06:18 -0600

“Come on. This is a special day. Just have a little bit.”

“I made this especially for you.”

“Can’t you give yourself a break on the holidays?”

The holiday season is upon us. Celebration. Food. More food. Lots of holiday togetherness revolving around the dining room table. Lots of encouragement to eat, overeat, and otherwise give in to culinary temptations. Along with breaking your diet.

Yes, food is love. And during the holidays, you might feel like everybody wants to demonstrate their love with a platter of food. For a diabetic, giving in to all that temptation can have disastrous results. But it’s not much fun to say no when everybody else is saying yes, yes, and yes again. And expecting you to do the same.

Here's a link to an article I wrote recently:

So how do you handle these situations? How do you communicate in a way that keeps your needs front and center?

12 replies

silvie mae
silvie mae 2013-12-11 20:45:28 -0600 Report

I politely explain that I have to deliver insulin for everything I eat and I have to carefully choose what I put on my plate. I figure out what treat I want the most and I have a little. Thanksgiving I chose a lovely piece if apple pie. :) I did have a slight spike but within a couple of hours and 1 correction I was back on track.

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2013-12-11 21:32:30 -0600 Report

Hello silvie mae,

Sounds like you turn this into a teachable moment. A good lesson for a loved one who has your best interest at heart.


GabbyPA 2013-12-09 19:25:04 -0600 Report

I am very lucky, I don't have any food tempters around me but myself. And once the temptation has been packaged up and handed out in pretty little christmas trays, I am SAFE! LOL

For me, it's self talk that I have to do. "No, you don't need that." and "Will it be worth the struggle with numbers later?" are two of my best self talk defenses.

Yerachmiel 2013-12-11 07:58:20 -0600 Report

To me, the question always was: Does this taste SO good that it is worth…

One can fill in the blanks themselves depending on which complications, which illness, which symptom, which new "treatments" they are willing to need, which parts of their day, life and/or body they are willing to sacrifice for that yummy 2 minutes or less of chocolate cake (or other goodie). I once asked the person who insisted I COULD eat the food that if they were willing to give me THEIR eyes and THEIR kidneys and would pay for the operations AND guarantee it would work we could discuss it…

In the old days, cheating was just that CHEATING!! Today, with pumps, pens, blood glucose testing, carb counting and other newer methods of control, ones food intake can be accounted and adjusted for, as long as one is willing to figure out HOW they are going to expend the extra carbs (average wight gain after getting a pump is somewhere in the 10-15 pound range)…

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2013-12-11 21:31:16 -0600 Report

Hi Yerachmiel,

Nice to hear from you. That is a very good approach to those who would push food on you that you can't eat.

Interesting stats on the pump. As you said, the newer technology may make it a little too easy to go off the diet. Thanks for passing this on.


Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2013-12-10 22:50:40 -0600 Report

Hi Gabby,

Managing your self-talk is a great idea. Talk yourself out of that temptation. We're all in an ongoing dialogue with ourselves, so it might as well be a positive and helpful one.


Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2013-12-10 14:50:02 -0600 Report

Gabby if it is a special treat, I don't worry about my numbers. It isn't like I am taking the treat home with me to eat repeatedly. I enjoy the holidays and don't spend it worrying about my numbers for the simple reason that I know I am not going to pig out on a treat.

Gavia 2013-12-09 18:15:54 -0600 Report

Great suggestions Joyce. Another one is an old dieters trick - drink a big glass of carbonated water BEFORE you go to a party or sit down to dinner. The carbonation will make you feel full and you (hopefully :)) won't eat so much. This year my 85 year old mother baked all our favorite holiday cookies from childhood - sugar cutouts with decorations, candy cane cookies, the works. I ate 1 there - to make her happy and my husband ate a few more. Then we asked for a doggie bag of cookies. After we got home, we divided up the doggie bag into three smaller bags and two went into the freezer for later. Everyone is happy.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2013-12-10 14:47:28 -0600 Report

Gavia, I freeze cookies all the time. I freeze them individually so if I want one I can thaw it to enjoy later. My cousins want me to make our families traditional Ginger Cookies. Since my oven isn't working and I can't bake them in my NuWave Oven they will have to wait until after the holiday. I would be tempted to taste them. I drink water all the time never thought of carbonated water.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2013-12-09 14:22:34 -0600 Report

To prevent this from happening and to keep yourself from indulging requires strength and a backbone.

Just because the food is there, does not mean you have to eat it. If people ask you try something you can politely decline. If they persist and know you are diabetic ask them point blank to stop offering you foods they know you won't or can't eat. Family can be worse than friends and coworkers because they are feeding you out of love.

The best thing to do at the office, cocktail, buffet or dinner parties is to first check out the foods being served. Go for the protiens and veggies first and foremost. A lot of the time hors d'oeuvres are served and many times its crudites which is mainly raw veggies, cheeses and crackers or mini meatballs or chicken nuggets. Stay away from the punch and mixed drinks because they are basically a carb convention where all the sugar meets. Stick with water or diet soda. This will help you if you want to taste a cookie or two.

There is no reason to feel guilty if you have a cookie, small piece of cake or pie because you can treat yourself as long as you don't over indulge. I think people panic when they are invited out to parties and dinners. If you don't eat it at home you don't have to eat it at a party. After the dinner with the family go for a walk or do something active and you can have your cookie. As long as you take the ability to say "no" with you, there should not be a problem.

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2013-12-10 22:46:57 -0600 Report


Strength and a backbone. A good way to say it. And yes, that connection between food and love can be a trap.

Very good idea to scope out the snacks and figure out where to focus and what to avoid.

Balance is everything!


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