Here are 5 healthy tips for a guilt-free holiday season.

1. Be realistic. The average American gains 6-10 pounds between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day.  So, set your goal at “maintaining” your weight during the holidays.

2. Do not arrive at holiday parties hungry! Nine out of 10 individuals will overeat if they skip meals. Our bodies are designed to eat every four to five hours. Skipping meals to “save calories” for party eating will set you up for failure. Eat a light meal before a party and you will arrive in control of your appetite and actually eat less.

3. Make time for exercise during the holidays. Even the best-derived plans leave room for error. Exercise will help burn off some additional calories. Keep in mind, however, that you have to walk approximately 30 minutes at 4 miles per hour to burn off one small slice of pumpkin pie.

4. Limit your alcohol intake to one to two drinks. Calories from alcohol add up quickly, particularly if you are consuming mixed drinks.

5. Be a social butterfly. Holidays are a time to be sociable. Spend time enjoying the company of others. The more you talk, the less you will eat.

These 5 tips will help you emerge from the Holiday Season without gaining the usual pounds the average American does.