It’s no secret that the holidays are the worst time of the year for fitness, and many people do well all year maintaining both their exercise and dietary habits only to blow it right at the end. Yes, there are a lot of temptations during the holidays, such as dinners with family, and travel that can interrupt your exercise schedule, but the good news is that there are a few simple tricks and strategies that you can use to help maintain your healthy habits, and your waistline.

1. Stay Hydrated

Staying hydrated is important for a lot of reasons, but during the holidays it can help you to avoid overeating. If you feel tempted to eat more than usual, or grab a snack if there are some presented, try drinking water instead. It can help suppress your appetite for a while, and will combat fatigue as well. Experts recommend that you drink plenty of water a day anyway, so just make sure you’re drinking a little more strategically during the holidays.

2. Avoid Alcohol

If you’re really into exercising and staying in shape, then you probably already know all about the drawbacks of consuming alcohol. However, during the holidays there are a few other issues with alcohol consumption. Firstly, alcohol can make it difficult to tell when you’ve had enough to eat, so drinking while eating is definitely a bad idea. If you have to drink, save it for after you’re done eating. Alcohol also works to dehydrate your body, which can counteract the previous strategy of staying hydrated. If you do drink make sure you do so in small quantities.

3. Plan Ahead

When it comes to maintaining your exercise routine during the holidays, planning ahead is your best course of action. When you’re traveling, make sure you check to see if your accommodations have an exercise facility that you can use. If not, you can always take a jog around the block, or use body weight exercises to keep up your routine. This also applies to your eating habits as well. When your meal schedule gets out of sync, it can be easy to justify overeating to compensate. Plan your meals wisely so that this doesn’t happen.

4. Pay Attention to Your Sleep Schedule

During the holidays it can be just as easy to lose control of your sleep routine as it is your fitness and diet routines. Once again, planning is your best bet because getting too little sleep can lead to oversleeping as compensation, creating an imbalance that swings back and forth between too much, and too little sleep.

5. Relax and Have Fun

The holidays are all about enjoying yourself, so don’t get so uptight and strung-out over all the minor details of your fitness and eating habits. Let yourself go just a bit and have fun. The psychological benefit here is that by indulging a bit, you won’t feel deprived and eventually give in, eating way more that you expected, or just abandoning your exercise plan. Stay smart, and enjoy the holiday spirit while it lasts. In the end, you’ll be glad you did.