Everyone looks forward to celebrating the holiday season with friends, family, and coworkers. But the period of time between Thanksgiving the beginning of the New Year can be fraught with challenges to your healthy lifestyle. Endless parties get-togethers, and office celebrations bring with them seemingly daily opportunities to overindulge.

It’s not impossible to avoid packing on the Holiday pounds while you deck the halls and enjoy quality time with your loved ones. Just follow these few tips, and you’ll still fit into your skinny jeans on January 1st!

  1. Control Your Portions!

It’s ok to have a bite of your Aunt Millie’s famous pecan pie or a taste of your cousin Sam’s award-winning stuffing, but don’t overdo it. A few bites will satisfy your craving without sabotaging your healthy lifestyle.

  1. Once is Enough … No Seconds!

Try to limit yourself to only one helping. Limitless buffets or potlucks can encourage continuous grazing, especially if you’re busy socializing or enjoying a couple of drinks. Pay attention to your meal, and allow yourself just one helping of each of the foods you try.

  1. Don’t Skip Workouts

We’re all busy enough during the rest of the year, but our holiday schedules seem to get especially crazy. Don’t be tempted to postpone your regularly scheduled workout. Getting at least your normal amount of exercise will help you fight the holiday bulge. Even better – try to add at least one additional day if possible as extra insurance!

  1. Focus on the Fun, Not the Food

We tend to make our holiday gatherings very food-centric. Try to shift your focus from the food to special traditions and sharing time with those you care about. Whether it’s an annual family decorating challenge or the after-dinner Thanksgiving football game, fill yourself with special memories instead of food.

  1. Don’t Go Hungry!

Always make sure you have a healthy meal or snack before attending an event or party. Some fruit and cheese, an apple with a few tablespoons of peanut butter, a protein shake, or healthy smoothie can fill you up and help you avoid making poor food choices later.

You don’t have to binge on high-calorie foods to enjoy your holiday season. Focus on the peace, joy, love, and special memories and you’ll start the new year with a healthy foot forward.