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

All holidays are celebrated with food in our country. This can lead to some situations when you’ll more than likely to make some decisions that will make controlling your blood sugar levels difficult. Philip Barnett, M.D., Ph.D. from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center has some tips in this article to help you navigate those family meals and holiday parties.

• Regular exercise is a great way to control blood sugar. Keep up your regular exercise routine even during the holidays. If you don’t have time to spare, try taking 10-15 minute walks throughout the day.

• Attending a dinner party sometimes means eating later than we’re used to. Try eating a snack before leaving home to make sure you don’t get too hungry and then eat things you should maybe avoid.

• It’s ok to indulge; after all it is a holiday! Be sure to save those indulgences for special foods and avoid overeating on every day foods like chips or crackers. Be certain to eat small portions.

• Focus on the veggie and fruit platters at parties, filling up on those things that are less likely to spike your blood sugar.

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

• Check your blood sugar regularly and never skip meals.

• Keep your meals balanced and nutritious. If you have a treat you should substitute it for something else that is normally on your plate. Ie: leave the roll and have a cookie instead.

• This one is my favorite: “Be positive. Remember that you control your diabetes; it doesn't control you.”