Weddings in India mean family get-togethers, celebrations, delicious food and wearing your finest clothes. And most weddings aren't just one-day affairs: The festivities can set in as early as a month in advance and really get into a groove for a full week before the wedding. For people with diabetes, that means juggling healthy food choices and diabetes care for however long the wedding festivities last. In fact, finding healthy food for diabetes care can be the biggest challenge during this time, given that many traditional dishes are very rich and are definitely not the friendliest for those with diabetes.
But why let diabetes stop you from doing the things you enjoy?! With some planning and smart decisions, you can have a blast without putting yourself at risk for hypoglycaemia or hyperglycaemia.
How to Enjoy Wedding Food
Let's face it: Weddings usually aren't stocked with friendly food for diabetes. You might not have many more options besides samosas and sweets, which can send your blood sugar skyrocketing.
That doesn't mean you can't enjoy the wedding buffet, though. Buffets can wreak havoc for people with diabetes, but they also come with the advantage of choice. Remember to follow the plate method: Fill half your plate with salad or some other non-starchy vegetable, and limit grains and starches such to one quarter. (Roti makes for a good, healthy option.) Pick baked, roasted or stir-fried foods rather than fried foods, and skip anything that's been sweetened with added sugar.
Here are some tips for enjoying your meal at the wedding:
Start the day with exercise. This lowers blood sugar levels, burns calories and can help control your appetite.
Eat a low-carbohydrate, high-fibre snack before heading out.
For dessert, fruit-based foods are best. That said, if you want to eat some cake, eat some cake! But if you splurge on a sweet, make it a small helping.
Don't assume that artificial sweeteners are safe. Sugar-free foods, for instance, can still be heavy on carbohydrates and calories. So look for alternatives where possible.
Carry some nuts or other healthy snacks with you to take care of hunger pangs.
Indulge in some alcohol if you like, but stick to one type of drink, and remember to consume in moderation. Otherwise, stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water.
Make sure, too, that you stick to your regular eating plan as closely as possible. For instance, don't eat a smaller breakfast and lunch — or skip the meals altogether — just so you can binge on dinner. A heavy carbohydrate load at one meal can be worse than enjoying yourself in moderation at each meal. And if you eat or drink a little more than you planned to, just get on the dance floor and shake it off! (Don't forget comfortable shoes!)
If you can, communicate with your host about your condition. Maybe they can whip up a diabetes-friendly meal or make sure that there's a sugar-free rice pudding or phirini on the dessert cart. It's likely that your host can accommodate your needs, but you have to let them know what you need. (Just remember to make any requests well in advance. Planning a wedding is a long, complicated process, after all.)
Other Things You Can Do to Stay on Top of Your Numbers
If you are travelling to another city to attend a wedding, talk to your doctor before you leave. They can give you specific advice and tips on adjusting your medication or insulin dose, and managing your diabetes care and diet during your trip.
Carry your medical identification tags and bring enough supplies for your stay, along with your prescription and instructions on what to do in case of an emergency. You should also make sure you have your emergency contacts saved on your phone so that those with you know what to do should an unforeseen event occur.
Use technology to set reminders or alarms for taking medication or insulin and testing your blood sugar so that you can follow your usual schedule, and make sure that you make adjustments if the climate is different wherever you're travelling to. Let your friends and family know about your diabetes care routine so that they can help.
Your numbers will probably fluctuate during this time, what with travelling, irregular sleep schedules and rich wedding food. But you can manage by ensuring that you stick to your diabetes care routine and eat healthy.
Most of all, remember to have fun! If you're managing your diabetes properly, you can attend any event. So celebrate!
Disclaimer: This publication/article/editorial is meant for awareness/educational purposes and does not constitute or imply an endorsement, sponsorship or recommendation of any Products. Please consult your doctor/healthcare practitioner before starting any diet, medication or exercise.