Did you know that during the holiday season the average person gains anywhere from 1 to 12 pounds? To assure this doesn’t happen to you, a plan of action is needed so that you don’t go into the New Year being heavier than you were before the holidays.

Here are some simple holiday diet tips to help you avoid the dreaded holiday weight gain.

1. Get Moving – Start an exercise routine now to get your metabolism in fat burning mode. You can workout at home with exercise videos and/or hand weights. As little as 30 minutes of exercise a day can make a huge difference in maintaining weight or shaping up muscles. Have friends or family members join you for support and motivation.

2. Map out your events on a calendar – Planning ahead how holiday parties will fit in your weekly meal plan can make all the difference. Creating meals accordingly will help you stay within your desired weekly calorie range.

3. Eat before you go – We mentioned this tip a few weeks ago. Eating healthy, filling meal before you leave for a party where there will be fattening foods will help you be less likely to indulge in the unhealthy treats. Eat enough that it will curb your appetite at the party and you will be able to enjoy a party snack or two in moderation. The less sugary, fattening foods you eat, the less weight will creep onto your body during the holidays.

4. Avoid temptation by allowing yourself to indulge a little – Avoiding all temptation can be difficult, and it is okay to enjoy one item such as appetizers or dessert- but not both -at a holiday party. Get a small plate instead of a larger one, and then move as far away from the food as possible.

5. Stay away from empty calorie beverages such as alcohol– Alcohol has more calories than you might imagine. One of the best ways to avoid gaining weight during the season of eating is to drink lots of water. Drinking a full 16-ounce glass of water before eating fills up your stomach so you are less likely to overeat.

6. Don’t eat after 7:00 pm – Research show that the earlier in the day foods are eaten, the more likely they are to be burned off. Therefore, eating late at night will almost assure that the food you eat will be stored as fat. Use your natural body physiology as an ally in your weight control battle by making 7:00 p.m. your cut off.

7. Eat healthy during the rest of the days – Be sure to eat healthy foods during the rest of the day when you know you have an event or party to attend. Your daily goal of seven or more servings of fruits and vegetables a day will allow you to fill up with healthy options. If you’ve eaten well throughout the day, eating a small amount of sweets later won’t be so bad.

These are only a few ideas to help you say no to weight gain this holiday season. Remember not to deprive yourself when it comes to holiday goodies but learn to use moderation to avoid gaining extra pounds this year. If losing a few pounds is part of your 2014 New Year’s Resolution remember that Healthy Habits is here to help!