The first thought you have to establish is that eating healthy does not equal deprivation, so you don't have to stay away from the delicious spreads during the holidays. All you have to do is instill a few habits into your daily activities. Here are a few tips that will help:

1. You don't have to deprive yourself

Limiting your meal options during the holidays will only leave you stressed out and worried about all the things that you are doing wrong as regards your diet. Instead, try to enjoy your meals and engage in other fun activities that can keep you busy and help you avoid overthinking your eating pattern.

2. Keep your distance from the buffet table at all times

Standing or sitting next to a full spread of food at a party will cause you to reach out whether you're filled or not. If you find snacking too tempting, try chewing minty gum.

3. Drink but only after considering your health

Keep an eye on your alcohol intake; even they can add to your calorie intake! A glass of wine or mixed drinks contains about 150 to 225 calories, while a glass of eggnog contains a whopping 500 calories.

Tip: don't drink while hungry; it may increase your appetite and cause you to binge.

4. Make Cooking a purposefully enjoyable task

Stop thinking of all the calories you need to avoid while preparing for the holidays. There is nothing wrong with enjoying your meals as long as you serve them in moderate portions. Make cooking a pleasurable chore and an act of love for yourself and your loved ones.

5. Always take a 10 minute break before taking a second serving

It takes a few minutes of eating before you start feeling full. After finishing your first helping, take a 10-minute break and mindfully engage yourself by starting a conversation, watching a movie, or drinking water. After 10 minutes, check if you still feel hungry; if you do, you'll find that you only need a lesser amount.

6. Draw a budget

Draw a budget before going shopping and make sure you don't do the task hungry so that the aroma of sweet treats won't lure you in. One other thing you want to draw a budget plan for is how many calories you consume each day. You don't have to eat everything you're offered at parties!

7. Take a stroll or try dancing!

While an exercise routine may be a bore during the holidays but dancing wouldn't be. Kick your cardio up by taking dancing classes, attending dance parties or even just taking a stroll. Your body will thank you for it!

8. Do a full survey of the buffet table before serving yourself

At a buffet, check out all the food made available before starting to serve yourself. This will not only help you choose the best, it can help you eat less and keep you from longing for more.

9. Eat before going to a party

Never forget to eat before setting out for a party, whether it is a full-on meal or a light snack. The perfect pre-party snack includes apple slices with peanut butter or a slice of turkey and cheese on whole-wheat pita bread. These are sure to be filling as they combine complex carbohydrates with protein and unsaturated fats.

The last tip is to shift your focus away from food and/or your need to diet. Make the holidays a special opportunity to make memories with your loved ones instead!