Here’s how to enjoy yourself without worrying about your waistline. This comes from registered dietician Heather K. Jones, co-author of What’s Your Diet Type?

  • The first worry: You think you’re doomed to pack on the pounds. So you give up on your diet and binge, or start stress-eating. The fix: Set up some easy-to-follow holiday rules to help keep you on track, like: “I’ll have a 150 calorie treat every day” – or “I’ll add 10 minutes to every workout.”
  • Another fear that can derail your diet: You know you’re going to overeat at every party, but obsessing over every bite will ruin your night. The fix: Before you belly up to the buffet, ask yourself this question: “How do I want to feel tomorrow? Bloated and disappointed, or proud and healthy?” Then eat accordingly.
  • Fear #3: You simply can’t resist holiday sweets. The fix: Give yourself permission to enjoy the special foods you have only during the holidays, but only in moderation. Substitute them for your usual treats, like chips, ice cream and pizza. So, once you’ve eaten a slice of Aunt Sally’s famous pumpkin praline pie, go right back to eating a healthy diet.
  • Another holiday fear that can derail your diet: After every gathering, you’ll gorge on leftovers for days. It’d be a shame to let all the delicious food go to waste. The fix: Refrigerate enough leftovers for a day-after plate. Send your guests home with doggie bags, and put the rest in the freezer. That way, you won’t be tempted to stuff yourself every time you open the fridge.
  • The final fear: You’re going to start a diet on New Year’s, so why not go crazy eating the fatty foods you’re going to have to give up. The fix: Think about New Year’s as a fresh start – and aim for balance now. In other words, stick to a low fat, low calorie diet except for a few occasions. Bottom line: Don’t use the holidays as an excuse to fall off the diet wagon face first into a pecan pie – or you’ll end up with five extra pounds to lose once the holidays are over.