We’re already in the middle of the holiday season. With parties and baking and cookie exchanges, how is it possible to survive without gaining an extra 5-10 pounds? Here are a few helpful hints to get you through.

1. Drink an extra glass of water before you eat anything at a holiday party.

Drinking water rehydrates tissues that are bound to be dehydrated by festive alcoholic beverages and salty, dense foods. Well hydrated tissues function more efficiently which can help prevent weight gain. Drinking that extra glass of water also gives you a sense of feeling a little more full, so you’ll tend to eat less.

2. Take a Walk

We all know that when we eat more, we should exercise more. I also know that during the holidays, sometimes the last thing I want to do is head to the gym. So after you’ve eaten, put on your hat and scarf and take a stroll around the neighborhood to look at the Christmas Lights. The simple act of not sitting down or going to bed right after you eat will help keep your metabolism up.

3. Consider which drink to have

While that creamy, pepperminty holiday libation looks delicious, consider the fact that it may have 3 times the number of calories in it as a glass of wine. And remember that each glass of an alcoholic beverage dehydrates you so you need an extra glass of water!

4. Take a deep breath

The holidays are usually pretty stressful. And even if it’s the “good” stress of busily preparing your home, it’s still stress. When your stress is elevated, so is your cortisol level. It’s that darn cortisol that is linked to abdominal fat. So, take a minute multiple times throughout the day to breath. It doesn’t have to be complicated. Just breathe in to the slow count of 4 and then breathe out to that same slow count of 4. Do this a few times and you’ll feel yourself relax as your cortisol levels fall.

5. Eat Breakfast

It may seem strange that I’m suggesting you need to eat in order to avoid gaining weight. Many times we eat so much at dinner time that we decide we’ll “make up for it” by skipping breakfast. If you don’t eat in the morning, you’re body will actually slow your metabolism down because it doesn’t know when you’re going to feed it next. You don’ t have to eat a lot, but make sure there is protein with your meal.