How to Keep a Change in Your Schedule from Sabotaging Your Blood Sugar

by Grace Rivers, RDN, CDCES

Even though you have your routine down, there are times when events or unexpected situations arise that throw you off. With these situations, your blood sugar can start getting out of range by becoming too high or too low.

Here is an example – everything in your schedule has been on track for about three weeks, and you are pleased with your blood sugar, feeling great, and have the exercise schedule happening as you planned. Today you learn that you will not eat at your usual time, nor will you eat what you intended. And exercise is out of the question because of a lack of time.

Schedule interrupters

Extended meeting

Late work hours

Car trouble

Traffic delays

Project work where there is no access to food

Be clever

Being prepared with some trusted standby foods can get you through unplanned situations. A non-perishable food stash that doesn’t require utensils kept in your office, lunchbox, or wherever you choose will help you be ready for such events.

Mini snack boxes of raisins

Single-serve bags of popped corn

Individual bags of nuts, or nuts and fruit such as Emerald brand 100 Calorie Packs

Snack bar such as a mini Lärabar in peanut butter chocolate chip offers protein and keeps the calories, carbs, and added sugars low. 

Ready to eat packages of peanut butter and crackers

Remember, these foods help keep your blood sugar in a safe zone, so you don’t go too high, too low, or overeat when you can eat a meal.

A step further

Whole wheat crackers or bread and nut butter can become your meal if needed. Fruit cups provide a powerful punch of antioxidants, too.  

Nut butter on bread can ward off overeating later and save you from crashing blood sugars.

Eating events

A different situation is when you find yourself staring at more food than you wish you had to deal with at once. You recognize these moments with birthdays, graduations, summer get-togethers, or even the simple “let’s do lunch.”

Hunger is gnawing at you, and foods that you have been avoiding are enticing you. You are ready to eat now!

The mindset to be in charge will keep you on track. You are the driver. As hard as it may be at that moment, breathe! Decide which foods you want and delight in their flavor.

If the gathering you are attending is taking place later than your regular eating time, a small snack may help before you go to help control your blood sugar and keep you from overeating.

Food choices

Make sure your choices include protein, carbs, and a non-caloric beverage such as water. Slowing down your eating can help you feel satisfied, and your hunger is more likely to subside.

If this is your birthday (or not), cake can be included. So, if you want it, eat a serving. 

If you were asked to provide a dish, go for low-carb (non-starchy) veggies.

Be healthier

For the future, know that the unexpected can happen, and having snacks on hand can be essential for dealing with it. There will always be some sort of eating event or schedule interrupter that may aim to derail your plan, but you are armed and clever. There are times for enjoyable moments, and you can still be a part of them without beating yourself up when it’s all over.

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