A: The season of joy, giving and sharing is upon us. For many, food is deeply intertwined in our gatherings and celebrations. It always seems to be a struggle to strike the proper balance between enjoying and overindulging. Here are a few key concepts to keep in mind to make it through the season without feeling the need to jump on a diet bandwagon come Jan. 1. Remember the essentials of a balanced diet: Start each day with a healthy breakfast, including complex carbohydrates and lean protein. Stay hydrated throughout the day, sipping water wherever you are. Fill up with fiber from whole foods such as fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Surviving holiday parties: Don’t skip meals to “save up” on calories. It’s a poor strategy that leaves you overly hungry and likely to overeat later. If you are concerned about their being a healthy option on hand, bring a dish to share, such as raw vegetables and hummus or a Greek yogurt-based dip with whole-grain pita chips. Survey the table before making your selections and keep portions small — one taste might be enough to quench a craving. Don’t let one slip-up get you down. If you overindulge at a party one evening, get back on track the next day. The true pitfalls occur when slip-ups become routine. Wise food choices are definitely essential during the holidays but remaining active is another important piece of the weight maintenance puzzle. Try not to steer too far from your normal eating and exercise routine.
Contact your Ankeny Hy-Vee dietitians for further questions, 515-964-0900 (410 N. Ankeny Blvd.) or 515-963-3130 (2510 S.W. State St.).