If you’re trying to shed excess pounds, November through the first of the year is a challenging time. It’s hard to think of a holiday tradition that doesn’t go hand-in-hand with sweet treats and high-calorie meals.

Avoid weight gain during the holidays.

Your weight loss surgery may be a few years in the past. Or, perhaps your bariatric surgery is still ahead. Either way, the difficulties are similar. You want to enjoy the season without packing on the pounds.

Avoiding weight gain during the holidays is possible, but you’ll need to have a plan. Your strategy will be determined by the things that trigger you to overeat. Before you head out for a party or event, think about what you need to stay on track.

Here’s how to avoid gaining weight during the holidays:

1. Keep Exercising and Eating Right

Make healthy eating a priority, and no matter how busy your schedule, don’t neglect exercise. Exercise relieves stress and boosts your mood. Use these strategies to keep you motivated through the season:

  • Work out first thing in the morning.
  • Make an exercise date with a friend.
  • Have a high-protein snack or meal before holiday parties.
  • If you overindulge, let it go. Resume healthy habits the next day.

2. Take Time for Yourself

The holidays are about giving, but you need to recharge to be at your best.  Set aside 15 minutes each day to meditate, pray, go for a walk, read, listen to music or to do whatever it is that makes you feel like yourself. Make sure you’re getting the rest you need. Lack of sleep leads to stress and overeating.

3. Have Realistic Expectations

Were your childhood holidays picture perfect? Or, were they kind of a nightmare? Are you trying to make the season wonderful for your kids? Unrealistic expectations are often at the root of the holiday blues. Let go of perfectionism, whether it has to do with hosting, decorating or weight loss.

4. Deal With Emotions

Some people deal with emotions by overeating. If you’re sad about something, acknowledge it. Don’t force holiday cheer. Sometimes acting happy can improve your mood, but if the holidays are always a sad time for you, allow yourself to feel melancholy.

If you need help, reach out to a family member, friend or counselor. WeightWise support groups can help when you need the understanding of people who are in a similar situation to yours.

5. Celebrate the Spirit of the Season

If family turmoil reaches a high point during the holidays, set aside arguments for the time being. Agree to deal later with problems in a healthy way. Or, accept that it’s not possible to see eye-to-eye with everyone.

Make a donation or volunteer with a charitable organization. When you help others, you feel better knowing that you’re doing good.

Struggling with weight and health can lead to sadness. Taking control of your health can make the holidays brighter. Contact WeightWise or attend a free informational seminar to learn more about weight loss surgery.

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