As we approach the end of the year, a difficult subject to discuss is our physical activity and how we eat around the holidays. As uncomfortable as it may be, we need to talk about it.

We all know holiday eating can lead to some scary weight gain that you don’t want to experience. Overeating during the holidays can even lead to blood sugar problems and other medical issues secondary to making poor choices about what and how we eat.

In our region, we tend to be very family-centered, especially around the holidays. We are sometimes expected to attend multiple family gatherings, which are usually centered around food. In addition, there are work parties and other get togethers we are invited to.  This can lead to temptation that is hard to resist because we like to eat, and we like to eat food that tastes good.  It is a fact that humans naturally love the taste of salt, fat and sweets, which will be seemingly everywhere over the next several weeks.

This holiday season, I recommend trying to avoid things you know are going to tempt you to eat more than you should. Make a point to eat smaller portions and don’t be afraid to stand up and physically walk away from food when you feel tempted to continue eating. If the weather is tolerable, invite a friend or family member to take a walk.

Although it’s not as easy to do, I encourage my patients to make healthier choices and eat foods high in fiber, fruits and vegetables. Eating these foods will fill you up and help you avoid the more dangerous foods we all know and regrettably, love.

Another thing that is so important to understand, especially around the holidays is that exercise truly is the “magic bullet.” We don’t like hearing it because it is hard to do, but if you exercise regularly, you will keep those extra pounds away.

All that being said, if you do end up gaining some weight over the holidays, remember that it does not help to beat yourself up. All that does is increase the chance you will continue to gain weight.

If this is you and you feel you are ready to make a big change, we are here for you. Feel free to come to the Center for Bariatric and Minimally Invasive Surgery at Pikeville Medical Center and see us. You can talk to a dietician, a member of my staff or me, and we can explore what options may be available to you.