Eating healthfully during the holidays can be difficult, but there are ways to avoid going into January feeling heavy, nutritionist Sharon Day told the West Valley Women group gathered Tuesday for its monthly meeting at SKYE Restaurant in Peoria.
Day, the director of nutrition for the Cancer Treatment Centers of America in Goodyear, told attendees that staying prepared, moderation and staying active are important factors in health and diet.
“Food is really fun,” Day said, but it presents a problem for many people this time of year.
The holiday season, filled with parties, special family meals and lots of temptations, can be a diet killer that leaves many people feeling bloated as the new year rolls in, she said.
Day suggested eating a small meal or snack before a holiday gathering to avoid calorie-rich finger foods. Another idea is to get rid of extra calories by kicking old habits, like picking up a coffee treat on the way to work every morning.
“Save room for calories that really matter,” Day said.
Moderation is also part of that, Day said, since even if something doesn’t taste good, it’s still full of calories.
The last key component to staying healthy is to get moving, Day said.
The general recommendation is to walk 10,000 steps a day, which can be about 5 miles, so Day suggested wearing a pedometer to track progress. Walk around while on the phone, or park farther away from the store entrance to get those extra steps in.
“The way we make changes is by being aware,” Day said.