2012-12-13 / Lifestyles

Website aids diabetics throughout holidays

MARQUETTE – The inevitable sugar rush of the holidays poses a challenge for people living with diabetes, but it’s not so different from the pressure felt by everyone this time of year. The National Diabetes Education Program is an ally for people with diabetes or those looking to prevent type II diabetes. Their free “Just One Step” plan is a way to help people set goals and track their progress. It’s also a proven way to help with weight loss.

“Everyone is faced with millions of cookies and mountains of desserts and special foods we eat only on holidays, so I think it’s really the same challenge that anybody else faces,” said Registered Dietitian Paula Ackerman. Ackerman is also a Certified Diabetes Educator at Munising Memorial Hospital and with the U.P. Diabetes Outreach Network.

NDEP’s Diabetes Health Sense and the Just One Step program can help jump start those New Year’s resolutions. It lets participants set both food and activity-related goals online to help keep track of those goals. Small, sustainable goals are key to making and keeping healthy lifestyle changes.

“People shouldn’t try to make thirty changes all at once if they want to be successful,” said Ackerman. “If you are trying to improve your health, lose weight or make any other changes in your life, it needs to be a slow and steady process and it needs to be one change at a time.”

It’s also important to remember that a balanced diet doesn’t mean eating only fruits and vegetables. Favorite holiday goodies can still be enjoyed.

“There are no forbidden foods,” states Ackerman. “It’s more a matter of how the food fits into the overall picture ... Keep in mind that food and drink are not the only ways to enjoy the holidays.”

Visit the NDEP website http:// ndep.nih.gov/resources/diabeteshealthsense/ just- one- step. aspx for more information.

Return to top