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Dr. Baskett: With the holidays here, I am concerned that I will regain my lost weight given all of the stress. What do I do?

A. The holiday season can be stressful for many people. Choosing gifts, planning menus, attending parties and family gatherings, experiencing tight finances, feeling lonely — can add much stress to what is supposed to be a “happy” time.

Here are some suggestions that may help reduce your holiday stress and allow you to maintain your healthy weight:

First and foremost, attend to your basic needs — eat in a healthy manner, exercise and get enough sleep. Try to maintain some degree of structure in your daily living. Remember, you are not dieting, so maintain your healthy habits.

Practice the skill of saying “no.” Think about what activities and events are priorities. Do not think that you have to do everything, and do not become overextended.

Have a family conference. Decide what traditions are important and which ones can be dropped. Think about starting some new traditions. Share the responsibilities with your spouse and children. Learn to delegate.

Eat lightly during the day if attending a party or dinner in the evening. Do not skip meals as you will be overly hungry and then overeat.

Keep your body moving. Continue to go to the gym (if that is part of your routine). Take a walk in the cold fresh air. Go ice skating or cross country skiing.

Have no expectations and learn to “go with the flow.” Those warm and fuzzy pictures in magazines and on TV are not usually realistic. Remember, things do not have to be perfect.

Enjoy time with family and friends.

Find some quiet time for yourself.

If you find that your weight does creep up, do not quit and do not give up. Get yourself back on track and continue with your journey toward a healthy weight!

Dr. Kathleen T. Baskett is medical director of the St. Vincent Healthcare Weight Management Clinic and author of “Moving Forward: The Weigh to a Healthier Weight.”

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