Weight management is simply an equation between calories you take into your body and the calories you expend through daily living and exercise. Equal on both sides means weight stays the same. Eat more than you expend and you gain weight. Similarly, eat less or expend more than you take in and you lose weight. Despite the simplicity of these equations, many of us struggle, especially during the holidays where we battle the evil duo of food temptations and less time (for exercise).

Holiday Survival Strategies:

•  Eat consistent meals. Maintain normal eating patterns. Don’t skip meals in preparation for an evening party. You’ll probably binge at the party.

 •  Eat before the party. Everyone knows not to go to the grocery store hungry. The same holds true for parties. Going to a holiday party hungry will only lead to overeating by the night’s end.

•  Drink lots of water. Water fills you up. If you indulge in alcoholic or fruity drinks at a party, drink one glass of water for every drink you consume. Avoid calorie-laden drinks like eggnog (at 350-400 calories a glass!).

•  Party plate: Choose a smaller plate if that is an option; if you fill up a small plate, you’ll eat less overall than if you used a larger plate. Next, look at everything before you start nibbling or filling up that small plate. Find the healthy choices of fruit, shrimp, cut up vegetables and stock up on those first. Also remember to Limit yourself to one trip to the serving table.

•  Cut down on portions: Enjoy some of your favorite treats, but limit yourself to a few bites. Take that one bite of food that comes only once per year and really savor the tastes. Be truly mindful while you eat and enjoy the experience.

•  Ask yourself do you really want this? When you are confronted with so many foods during the holidays, make sure you check in with yourself. Ask yourself: Are you really hungry or are you eating because the food is there? But remember, if you really are hungry and want that treat, savor it and compensate later with smaller portions at mealtime.