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During the holiday season, food often serves as a central point for socializing, sharing traditions, and making new memories. But, if you’ve spent the past months working to achieve a healthy weight, it’s normal to worry whether you’ll be able to maintain your weight loss success through the end of the year.

Reaching your weight loss goal is an accomplishment that can improve your self-esteem and well-being. Maintaining that goal can reduce your risk of health conditions including stroke, diabetes, heart attack, and even some forms of cancer, so you’re protecting more than your appearance by maintaining your goal weight.

You’ll get the guidance you need for enjoying the holidays without weight gain when you consult a professional weight loss specialist. Winnie King, MD, is a board-certified physician who supports patients in Shenandoah and Houston, Texas, with state-of-the-art weight loss programs. Dr. King and the staff at her aesthetics and wellness practice help you reach your goals and maintain your success through medical supervision and a range of weight loss treatments.

Dr. King works with you to develop a plan that helps you meet the challenges of maintaining your weight loss during the holiday season and beyond. Here are some easy-to-follow tips for success as you celebrate.

Stay active

While shopping, planning, and socializing may leave you feeling exhausted during the holiday season, it’s important to save some time and energy for genuine exercise.

Exercise helps increase your metabolism so you burn more calories each day. Whether your regimen includes water aerobics, running on a treadmill, or taking group classes, when combined with a healthy diet, exercise can help you keep off the weight you’ve lost.

Participating in exercise that amounts to 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity or 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity each week can help most people maintain their existing weight.

Handle stress

Fitting all your holiday obligations into an already cramped personal and professional life can be overwhelming. Unfortunately, stress produces an overload of hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline which are linked to weight gain and a slower metabolism.

In addition to “emotional eating,” stress is also related to less healthy eating because you’re more likely to consume what’s readily available, which may not be what’s most healthy. Feeling stressed can also lead to exercising less and skipping meals, both of which can undermine a healthy lifestyle.

Your best defense against binging on holiday cookies for comfort is to anticipate the stresses of the season and plan to offset their impact on your physical and mental health. Make time for self-care and participate in activities like yoga, slow breathing, or meditation, that help you take control of tension.

Plan ahead

While one holiday indulgence may not destroy your months of progress, planning ahead can help you avoid it from becoming a common occurrence.

Plan for success before you leave your house. If you’re attending an evening event, eat lighter during the day to offset the extra calories you’re likely to have later.

Eating one serving of fruit, raw nuts, or fat-free yogurt before you go can help you feel less hungry when presented with unhealthy options. Bring a healthy snack or side dish so you know you’ll have at least one guilt-free choice available.

If you decide to indulge, choose a smaller plate to help you control portions. Eat slowly and focus on your food so you’ll recognize when you feel full.

Set limits

Extra calories can creep up in all types of party fare. Know what you simply can’t refuse, whether it’s your grandmother’s Thanksgiving stuffing or your best friend’s holiday cocktails, and establish when enough is enough.

Give yourself a holiday pass but set limits so you don’t overindulge. Knowing you can enjoy your favorites can help you reject the rest.

Setting limits can provide extra benefits when limiting alcohol intake since alcohol consumption is associated with an increased appetite and an increase in the amount of food a person eats.

Get support

Despite your best intentions, maintaining weight loss can be a challenge during the holiday season. Having the motivational support of a weight loss professional can help you stay dedicated to your goals and make you accountable for your choices.

Dr. King and her team provide the direction you need to avoid the results of too much indulging by helping you maintain your results long-term.

Find out more about ways to maintain your weight loss over the holidays this year. Call our Shenandoah or Houston office today for a consultation.

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