‘Tis the season. The holidays are here and full of family, friends, great food, and great memories. But temptations are everywhere. Your healthy lifestyle runs the risk of spending some time on the back burner.

Have no fear! Here are 5 tips to help you stay on track during the holidays.

1. Plan Ahead

You may not have any control over what food is served at a party. Arm yourself with a holiday plan:

  • Offer to bring a healthy dish along with you.
  • Don’t skip meals to save your calories; it will lead to disaster. Instead, make healthy and nutrient dense choices leading up to the party. You’ll be more likely to stay on track.
  • Want to eat sweets? Cut back on other carbs during the meal.
  • Get right back to healthy eating with your next meal.

2. Practice Mindful Eating

Eating more mindfully can help you avoid consuming more than your body needs, and allow you to get more satisfaction out of your meals. Tune into your hunger, eat slowly, put your utensils down between bites, and pay close attention to your body’s signals of fullness.

holiday party photo

3. Everything in Moderation

There’s nothing wrong with enjoying yourself around the holidays. Instead of restricting yourself (it never ends well), practice moderation. Have a little of everything.

By eating healthy during the holiday season, you’ll be able to enjoy a few holiday parties in peace. Surround your indulgent events with healthy foods which include whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and lean proteins in appropriate portion sizes.

4. Keep It Moving

Whether a formal workout or a daily walk, it’s best to make time for physical activity during the holidays. Consider exercise as your secret holiday weapon. Why? Movement can help reduce stress and counterbalance the effects of all those holiday parties. You’ll be surprised at how good you feel by carving out time for a workout or going on a walk after dinner. Get moving!

5. Get your sleep

With extra parties in the schedule, sleep often takes a backseat. Sticking to your sleep schedule can improve your quality of sleep both during and after the holidays. When sleep deprived, you’ll tend to eat more and prefer high-fat, high-sugar foods. Avoid this by aiming for 7 to 8 hours of sleep per night.

More importantly, remember what the season is about—celebrating and connecting with the people you care about. Focus on eating well and staying healthy. Head into the new year strong!