Bayhealth Dietician Offers Holiday Help


Staff Report

Dawn Santacroce MBA, RD, LDN, Outpatient Dietitian at Bayhealth Medical Center, offers Milford residents tips to survive the holiday season this year. Dawn works with Bayhealth Medical Center helping patients for weight management, diabetes and other health related issues.

The Holiday is 3 Days
The first tip that Ms. Santacrosse offers is a reminder to individuals to view the holiday season as three days, Thanksgiving, Christmas and the New Year, instead of an eight week long process. Three days are more reasonable to manage when decisions on what foods and how much to eat are being made.

Stay in your Routine
Keeping in the everyday routine from the rest of the year is also critical to weight management during the holiday season. Eating breakfast as normal and continuing exercise routines will help establish some normalcy at a time that can become hectic for many.

3. Make Healthy Choices
While attending holiday festivities Ms. Santacroce recommends several steps to take in order to avoid overindulgence. First, eat a small healthy snack before arriving at an event so that hunger does not play a role in overeating. Fruits, vegetables or a handful of nuts while also staying hydrated with plenty of water can counter hunger. Dawn also recommends that individuals should not avoid certain foods but make healthy choices about the food they do eat.

“If you tell yourself ‘I can’t have’ something in particular you will eventually have that moment where you give in and really overdue it,” commented Ms. Santacroce. “By taking a small portion of that food you will satisfy that want and can move on.”

Dawn uses a philosophy when it comes to eating during special occasions that will allow partygoers to enjoy any type of food. Three bites of any food is acceptable: the first to introduce yourself, the second to get to know it and the third bite to say goodbye. She also advocates that people eat food that is unique to the holiday season and steer away from filling up with additional food that is served throughout the year.

Make Time for Exercise
Staying on a routine of exercise is also crucial to staying healthy this time of year. Although time is almost never found in large quantities during the holidays, scheduling time for exercise is necessary. Tips for maintaining exercise include finding ways to get more exercise while performing daily activities. Park farther away when shopping and take stairs instead of elevators to increase walking while buying gifts.

Keeping a daily routine, eating before festivities, and keeping up with exercise will help reduce the urge to overdue it this holiday season. Dietitian Dawn Santacroce reminds everyone to“Always put yourself in the best position for good health.”