diet hacksThe holiday season is in full effect! While it’s time to enjoy your family and friends, it’s just as important to get your lifestyle in check. Every year, thousands of Americans gain between five and seven pounds during the period between Thanksgiving and the New Year. If you don’t want your waistline to become a casualty of the holidays, we’ve got some diet hacks that will help you stay your course and slay this festive season.

1. Make like it’s opposite day.

One of our favorite ways to stay on track is to do the opposite of the masses. Instead of waiting for the New Year to make resolutions, start now. Add something to your routine to boost your health and wellness every day. Whether it’s drinking lemon water and doing shots of apple cider vinegar or taking that new exercise class that piques your interest, take action. You will be ahead of the game when the New Year rolls around.

2. Pack the Protein.

Make conscious efforts to consume lean protein at every meal, especially if you plan to splurge a little on simple carbs. Lean protein fills you up, regulates bloods sugar levels and boosts lean muscle mass. When you increase your lean muscle mass, you’ll burn more calories on a daily basis.

3. Do regular weigh-ins.

Step on the scale two to three times a week throughout the holidays to keep your eye on the prize. While you want to keep things in check, you also don’t want to obsess and take all the fun out of your splurges. It’s all about balance, so don’t feel that you need to weigh yourself daily.

4. Plan your splurges.

Completely depriving yourself causes frustration and ultimately leads to a binge. It can very difficult to shun all your favorite holiday goodies, so make a plan instead. Identify the upcoming festivities where you’ll face temptation and make a plan to indulge—in moderation, of course.

5. Practice damage control.

Keep track of what you’ve splurged on and make it up the next day with a workout and clean eating. Again, don’t obsess—there is a thing called exercise bulimia. We’re just saying to watch what you eat the next day and get a workout in asap.

6. Move it.

Studies show that gym attendance hits major lows during November and December. Again, make like it’s opposite day and be different from everyone else. Hit the gym or your favorite classes even more than usual—and make that a goal for the New Year. Add in an extra day and increase the intensity and duration of your workouts. If you’re traveling, buy some resistance bands, research some fitness hacks or find a local gym that offers guest passes. Mix it up as well—beat the New Year rush and try a new class now. Sign up with a Groupon, get a ClassPass or sign up for an introductory offer if you want to keep costs low. When the New Year rolls around, you’ll already be a regular at this new workout.

7. Spoil your meal.

Ignore the old adage—you do want to spoil your supper. A lot of people like to “save up” calories so they can go big at a holiday party or dinner. If you arrive at an event or meal on an empty stomach, you set yourself up to overeat. Chances are you will eat too fast and completely overdo it. Whatever you do, do NOT skip meals during the day of a big meal or party. Have a healthy, protein-rich breakfast and lunch, as well as a snack before you head out. Yes, you read that right—have a snack about 30 minutes to one hour before you leave the house or sit down to dinner.

Follow these strategies and you will look and feel your very best throughout the entire season. Visit this link to discover more fitness and diet hacks.