For some of us, the holidays can be the best of times and the worst of times when it comes to our diet. We love to indulge in those foods we probably don’t eat a lot of during the rest of the year. Is that candied yams with marshmallow topping calling? Those calorie-laden treats can play havoc with our fitness and nutrition plans.

Dina Cooper, senior program director at the C.B. Pennington Jr. YMCA, offers these tips to help get us through.

1. Leading up to the holidays don’t deprive yourself of desserts and the overindulge when they arrive. Eat little pieces of dark chocolate everyday, and when you’re presented with dozens of dessert choices you won’t eat everything in sight because you will have fulfilled that craving.

2. Before attending a holiday event fill up on lean protein and drink plenty of water to avoid snacking all night.

3. Stay active! Don’t stray from your normal routine. If you keep up your regular fitness activity, you will have less to catch up on in January.

4. Get a friend and become each other’s fitness buddy. It helps keep you accountable for staying active.

5. If the party is taking place at your home, give the leftovers to your guests. One day of overindulgence is better than multiple days of high-calorie and high-fat leftovers.