12 Secrets to Avoid Santa's Waistline

The good news is that it doesn't have to be this way.

Here are a few tips for keeping slim this holiday season:

1. Know Your Triggers: During the holidays, stress combined with the increased abundance of calorie packed treats can lead to unnecessary eating. Be aware of those situations and your choices.

2. Avoid The Collective Holiday Mindset: Life isn't on hold until January 1. Do not use the holidays as an excuse to put health on the back burner.

3. Keep A Log: Weigh yourself everyday. Self-monitoring is an effective tool.

4. Survey The Entire Buffet Before Serving Yourself: People eat less when they know what to expect.

5. Sleep: Fatigue is linked with overeating.

6. Do Something For Someone Else: Volunteers weigh less, feel healthier and have less of a chance of suffering from a heart attack than the Scrooges of the world.

7. Use Small Plates: People eat less when they eat off small plates.

8. Savor It: Slow down. You'll enjoy yourself and the food more.

9. Be Vain: Too much sugar causes wrinkles, sagging skin and acne.

10. Pregame: Going to the grocery store on an empty stomach is a bad idea and the same holds true for holiday parties. Don't arrive starving.

11. Bring Snacks: Resist temptation by heading it off. Keep a bag of almonds or an apple close by.

12. Don't Deprive Yourself: If you are going to indulge, make it worth it. Skip the store-bought Christmas cookies so you can really enjoy Grandma's homemade pecan pie.

Huffington Post | Samantha Boardman MD

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