The holiday season is upon us, and with it comes the celebrations, parties and social gatherings. While many people equate this time of year with over-indulgence and getting off track with their health goals, this doesn’t have to be the case at all.

With the following tips, you can have your holiday cake (and eat it too!) while still fitting into the same dress size when the New Year rolls around.

1. Be Choosy

You don’t need to deprive yourself during the holidays but set your standards high. Would you rather have the generic store-bought cookies that taste just alright, or Grandma’s homemade plum pudding served up with love? Skip the mediocre stuff that you can easily have any time of the year and save your indulgences for those few treats that you really look forward to enjoying over the holidays.

2. Keep it “Business as Usual” in the Daytime

Most holiday gatherings and parties tend to occur later in the day and around the dinner hour. If you can keep the rest of your day relatively “clean” and in order then you don’t have to sweat a few indulgences later on. Make it a point to get in as much of the good stuff earlier in the day with a heavy emphasis on veggies and greens.

For example, you could start your day off with an alkalizing green drink, snack on veggie sticks between meals, and make lunch a huge raw salad topped off with some quality protein and healthy fat. Don’t forget to hydrate with plenty of water and swap out some of those caffeinated drinks with herbal teas.

3. Party Smart

Fill your plate with plenty of salad and vegetable-based dishes and opt for smaller portions of calorically dense foods. Skip the fried hors d’oeuvres in favor of the vegetable crudités, olives, bean-based dips, and quality cheeses. Limit your helpings of carb-rich and sugary foods, which can negatively impact blood sugar, and balance them out with plenty of protein-rich foods like seafood and lean meats.

Limit alcohol to 1-2 drinks, especially if you have many social gatherings lined up where you know you’re going to be drinking. Opt for wine or spirits mixed with soda water, and skip the sugary drinks and cocktails. Sparkling water mixed with a bit of unsweetened cranberry juice, fresh mint and pomegranate seeds makes a festive and refreshing alternative to alcohol.

4. Keep on Moving

Although the holidays can be busy, it’s not the time to throw your exercise priorities completely out the window. If you can stick to your regular workout routine then great, but at the very least commit to getting outside and walking for at least 20-30 minutes each day. If you’re staying with family recruit a walking partner to take morning walks with you, or round-up the troops for a post-dinner stroll and use the time to connect with your loved ones.

5. Start Each Day Fresh

Even if you do happen to go a little overboard indulging, this doesn’t mean you have to throw in the towel until January. This is self-destructive to the core. Remember that each day is a clean slate. Get back on track as quickly as possible by reverting back to the tips mentioned above and you’ll be further ahead by New Years.

And lastly, if you need some extra motivation, keep this fun quote in the back of your mind:

“Summer bodies are made in the winter”

Wishing you happy and healthy holidays!

About the Author

Elaine is a Certified Nutritionist and Women’s Health Coach. She works with clients across the globe to help them improve their health and relationship with food. Elaine believes in a real food approach to health that is rooted in optimizing digestion and includes ongoing and intelligent cleansing. You can download her FREE Hip, Healthy & Holistic Makeover Guide to learn 5 simple things you can do every day to lose weight, increase energy, kick cravings, and feel beautiful inside & out.