The average person gains around a pound between Thanksgiving, and New Year’s Day. But with some planning and foresight, this extra weight isn’t a foregone conclusion. Here are five quick tips to help you prepare:

Stick to your normal schedule (most of the time).

One of the things that quickly sends us off track is a change in routine. Eating different foods, at different times, can make it especially challenging to continually make the healthier choices. It can get to be too much, especially when compounded with the added stress and hectic schedules the holidays can bring. Try and plan ahead for delayed meals, or limited healthy choices by carrying some healthy snacks with you.

Save your calories for the (really) special stuff.

Let’s be honest, was that dried out supermarket cookie in the break room really worth the extra calories? Probably not. But your mom’s famous apple pie? Now that may be worth a few indulging bites at a holiday meal. Take inventory of the treats you especially love this season, and stick with those.

Don’t drink your calories.

There are a few beverages that are worth their caloric value, like protein shakes for example, but the vast majority are not. A glass of champagne will cost you roughly 100 calories, while a cup of eggnog weighs in over 200 calories (more if it’s the alcoholic variety). Toasting the new year is one thing, but routinely imbibing these empty calories is a bad idea.

Keep some healthy meals handy.

Stock up your freezer with some quick, healthy options for when those shopping trips run long, or you get a surprise social visit. This will keep the temptation to eat out at bay, and keep your diet on track.

Keep it moving!

A bit of indulgence is okay on special occasions, as depriving oneself completely can backfire. The best way to keep these extra calories from impacting your waistline is to work for it. Make a point to keep up with a regular exercise routine, and even step it up a when you know your diet has slipped a bit.

On behalf of Virtual Health Partners, we wish you all a healthy, happy holiday season!