If you're like most Americans, you'll put on a pound or two by New Year's Day. But don't worry just yet, because this holiday season can be different! Even though it can feel near impossible to resist the festive temptations around you, there are steps you can take to keep the extra holiday pounds off while still enjoying yourself. Prepare yourself for the most delicious time of year—follow these tips to surviving this holiday season, and those to come, without seriously jeopardizing your waistline.

Stay Healthy During the Holidays

  1. Get moving. One of the most effective ways to maintain or lose weight is through sustained aerobic activity. Exercise is the best way to burn any extra calories you’re taking in this time of year, like the huge piece of holiday fudge you had with lunch.
  2. Seven is your new lucky number. Making sure to eat seven or more servings of fruit and vegetables each day is a great way to fill your stomach without many calories.
  3. Control the risk for temptation. By removing any holiday goodies, like candy or cookies, from your desk and pantry you will avoid testing your willpower all day long.
  4. Allow just one-a-day. If you feel constantly surrounded with displays of annual desserts, allow yourself just one small cookie or piece of candy each day. Just remember, you may have to compensate for it later by burning a few extra calories during exercise.
  5. Never go hungry. Always eat a healthy snack before going to a holiday party, such as your favorite fruit, fat-free yogurt or a low-fat, whole grain granola bar. Now, when you arrive at the party, you won’t be craving handfuls of hors d’oeuvres.
  6. Bring your own treats. Whether you're going to a family party or an office potluck, consider bringing a low-calorie treat that you know you'll enjoy. Bringing your own food to munch on will make the more fattening alternatives less tempting.
  7. Make smart party choices.
    • Smaller portions are always best
    • Limit desserts
    • Nix the fattening sauces
    • Avoid high-calorie drinks, such as eggnog, hot chocolate or alcohol
  8. Focus on the party. Don't stand around the dessert table when you're at a party – focus on making conversation with others instead of watching the food spread. Conversation is calorie-free!

Remember, the holidays are meant to be celebrated and enjoyed with family and friends. Treat yourself, but make healthy choices to maintain your weight goal—remember, beating extra seasonal pounds will give you another reason for holiday cheer!