April Barsema, a dietician at Mercy Medical Center in Clinton, says you can control the temptation by not making unhealthy options available at home and work. She says when you’re faced with some of your favorite holiday foods, choose carefully.
“Then you really have to think about what’s my top favorite?” Barsema says. “If I leave here today and don’t have this, I will not be satisfied.” If it’s not your favorite food, she says don’t waste the calories on it. Many healthy eating tips are good year-round, according to Barsema. She and Clinton Mercy Medical Center Chef Mark Lehan say small steps can be the way to start.
“Remember, you don’t have to make a bunch of changes all at once,” she says. “Little changes make a difference too.” Leehan says, “Maybe two or three days out of the week you can start out initially, just changing some of your diet.” Barsema says those small steps can turn into bigger leaps of progress.
“From there, too, remember, once you’re used to that, it becomes your new normal,” she says. “Then take that next step to your other goal, your next goal.” Whether during the holidays or anytime, Barsema and Lehan say don’t feel guilty if you have a day where you indulge on unhealthy foods.
“Nobody’s perfect. When those things happen, you pick up the next day and get yourself back on track,” Barsema says. “Don’t let it eat away at you, everybody makes mistakes. If it’s one day we mess up, your body can take care of you. It’s just times we have something we shouldn’t a little too often.” Over the holidays, Barsema stressed it’s time for family and friends — not food.
(By Dave Vickers, KROS, Clinton)