Kate Cornell was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in June of 2005. Since then, she has controlled diabetes through dietary changes, exercise, and, more recently, metformin. She shares her experiences and lessons learned here and on her blog, kates-sweet-success.blogspot.com, which was named as one of the top diabetes blogs for 2015 by Healthline.com.

As the holidays approach, it’s a good idea to plan ahead for the times you’ll be faced with tough decisions about food—and you know it will happen.

In the US, all holidays are celebrated with food. This leads to situations that will make it difficult for you to control your blood sugar levels. Philip Barnett, MD, PhD, from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center has some tips to help you navigate those family meals and holiday parties.

  1. Regular exercise is a great way to control blood sugar. Continue with your regular exercise routine during the holidays. If you don’t have time to spare, take 10- to 15-minute walks throughout the day.

  2. Dinner parties usually mean eating later than you're used to. Eat a snack before leaving home to make sure you don’t get too hungry and eat foods you should avoid.

  3. It’s okay to indulge; after all, it is a holiday! Save those indulgences for special foods and avoid overeating on everyday foods like chips or crackers. Eat small portions to keep your blood sugar in check.

  4. Focus on the veggie and fruit platters at parties. Fill up on healthy foods that are less likely to spike your blood sugar.

  5. Drink water and diet sodas. Consume alcohol in moderation, and be sure to eat something with your alcoholic drink.

  6. Check your blood sugar regularly and never skip meals.

  7. Keep your meals balanced and nutritious. If you have a treat, substitute it for something else that is normally on your plate. As an example: leave the roll and have a cookie instead.

  8. Be positive. You control your diabetes; it doesn't control you.