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Tips to help balance extra holiday eating, mental health

Published: Nov. 26, 2021 at 5:38 PM CST
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SIOUX CITY (KTIV) - Food is often a big focus of parties, and family get-togethers, during the holiday season. For some, that extra eating can affect mental health.

Leaders at MercyOne Siouxland Medical Center said if you’re worried about those extra calories, you can make a few substitutions.

MercyOne’s Clinical Nutritional Coordinator said you can cut things like sugar and butter by just 25%, and you may not even notice a difference.

She adds, when it comes to gaining holiday weight, it’s usually about a pound or two a year that we just never shed throughout the rest of the year. Over the years those extra holiday pounds can add up.

She said getting back to a normal eating cycle-- in-between holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas-- can help.

“Sometimes with mental health and the holidays, things can get overwhelming. Don’t deprive yourself during the holiday season. Enjoy some of those foods. But remember that you should also try to get back on track,” said Small.

Health experts at UnityPoint Health - St. Luke’s added-- along with the stress holidays can bring-- loss of loved ones and not having family around can have an effect, as well.

“Some people cope with eating. Which could affect their mental health and their health in general. It’s just important that they have a good support system to encourage each other about healthy eating,” said Yudy Cruz.

Small added portion control is another good way to help when it comes to overeating. She reminds folks there will always be leftovers to come back to if you want a second helping.

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