It happens every year at this time. Your friends, colleagues and family conspire against your best intentions to stay fit. In fact, some of us will put on as much as ten pounds over holidays. The good news is that you can enjoy yourself AND stay healthy, lean and fit through the holidays. Here are a few tips to help you along:

Keep Exercising:Its tempting to skip your workouts as your days fill up with holiday preparations, travel and parties. But, now more than ever, you need to stay active. Exercise will help you avoid weight gain, deal with added stress and give you the energy you need during this busy season. If you have trouble sticking with your usual routine, forget the rules and lower your standards if you must.


Focus on weight maintenance vs. weight loss during the holidays. If you are currently overweight and want to lose weight, this is not the time to do it. Maintenance of your present weight is a big enough challenge during the holiday season. Dont set yourself up for failure by making unrealistic goals for yourself.


Control Your Eating. Overeating may seem inevitable during the holidays. But treating every party like its an invitation to indulge is a sure way to add pounds. These tips are probably nothing you havent heard before, but theyre great reminders for keeping the calories in check.


Eat Before You Go. Eat a light snack before going to holiday parties. It is not a good idea to arrive at a party famished. Not only are you more likely to overeat, but you are also less likely to resist the temptation of eating the higher fat and higher calorie foods. Try eating a piece of fruit, a small carton of yogurt, or a string cheese before you go.


Reduce the fat in holiday recipes.There are plenty of low fat and low calorie substitutes that are amazingly tasty. Magazines are full of reduced calorie and reduced fat holiday recipes.


Control Your Drinking. Alcohol is an easy way to consume more calories than you need so avoid mixed or fruity drinks and have a glass of water for every drink you consume. Avoid egg nog–it has up to 350 calories a cup.


Don’t Skip Meals. Its tempting to skip meals to make up for food youll eat later. However, if you are starving, you are unlikely to make healthy food choices. Eat small meals all day to avoid over-indulging later.


Maintain perspective: Overeating one day wont make or break your eating plan. And it certainly wont make you gain weight! It takes several days of overeating to gain weight. If you over-indulge at a holiday meal, put it behind you. Return to your usual eating plan the next day without guilt. However you deal with the holidays, make this the year that you dont gain extra weight. Make a decision to do everything you can to stay active and eat healthy while not depriving yourself of all the fun. Like everything else in life, its all about moderation.