It’s almost impossible to make it through the holiday season without cheating on that diet plan just a little bit...and you always have that list of New Year’s resolutions you can use as backup to justify those slip ups. But what if there were a few diet hacks that made it just as easy to enjoy the holidays without gaining a ton of weight? Here’s five ways you can stay on track this holiday season.

Commit to a plan
Surviving all those holiday parties is much easier if you know what you are dealing with. Find out the menu in advance if you can because making decisions ahead of time means you are more likely to stick to a plan. A plan also lets you relax and focus on chatting with friends. If it’s a potluck that’s even better! Bring a guilt-free dish to enjoy.

Earn your cocktails
Commit to working out the day of the event and after. Schedule it so you stick to it, and maybe attend a class or go with a friend. If you have a commitment to workout the next day, you are less likely to indulge...no one wants that hangover! Work out three hours before the event, then come home, have a protein based snack and get ready. Oh and hydrate! When you arrive at the party, start with sparkling water and lemon as your first “drink.” This allows you to settle into the party without jumping right into have a drink.

Don't go hungry
Remember that protein based, post-workout snack we mentioned? It allows you to arrive feeling balanced and not too hungry...limiting binging on all those yummy apps! Besides, protein and fat help balance your blood sugar. Also consider a quick protein shake made in a blender bottle...it’s your new “roadie!”

Know your apps
Speaking of those appetizers...this is one of the biggest areas where people blow their diets. Look for seafood towers, chicken skewers, or the veggie tray and hummus. Avoid anything fried, quiches, or bread, all of which spike blood sugar. Grab a plate of high protein options and only fill it once...focus instead on chatting with friends.

Do dessert right
You might want to think about making a choice between dessert and cocktails, but if you are really craving something sweet consider a small piece of dark chocolate vs. cakes and cookies. Dark chocolate hits the spot without added fructose or too much sugar, and there are a few health benefits.