We all know this time of year is the hardest to stick to a fitness routine and resist the temptation of holiday treats. The harder we try to stay on track more opportunities to cheat seem to present themselves. The biggest temptation is the endless number of holiday parties we are obligated to attend. If you’re looking for your guide to surviving holiday parties... here it is! #1) EAT BEFORE YOU LEAVE. When you are hungry and in an environment that entices you to binge eat it is a recipe for disaster. Eating a full and healthy balanced meal before attending will eliminate those urges and cravings to nibble on those foods that will only push you away from your goals. #2) LIMIT ALCOHOL INTAKE. Attending a holiday party can sometimes be an excuse to binge drink. Most of the time these drinks are full of sugar and leave you feeling sick and tired the next morning. Go into the party with the mindset of limit of one or two cocktails throughout the night. It is also important to choose your cocktail wisely to eliminate as many extra calories as possible. A great go-to holiday cocktail is a Gingerbread Hot Toddy. Gingerbread Hot Toddy: 1 oz Brandy 1 oz Gingerbread Liqueur Juice from 1 lemon wedge 8 oz hot water 1 Cinnamon stick #3) DANCE… A LOT! Not only is dancing at a holiday party fun, but its also a great way to burn a few extra calories and not even realize it! Plug in your iPod and put on one of your favorite jams and dance the night away! #4) BRING A HEALTHY PLATTER. A lot of holiday parties allow their guests to bring appetizers or desserts of some sort. If you’re worried about eating a guilty dessert at the party- bring a healthy one! Something as simple as dark chocolate dipped strawberries can do the trick to satisfy your sweet tooth, and everyone will love them! #5) DON’T BEAT YOURSELF UP if you indulge more than you would have liked. Everyone is human and we all love enjoying everything that comes along with the holidays so don’t feel guilty if you cheated just a little bit. Just reset the next morning and everything will be back to normal. So don’t avoid attending a holiday party for fear that you will ruin your progress because it IS possible to enjoy the holidays and still stay on track! Cheers! Elizabeth Brown is 22 years old born and raised in San Jose, California. Sheis a full time student in the process of transferring to San Jose State University to complete her Bachelors of Science degree in Kinesiology. As Bodybuilding.com’s 2012 Fit USA Winner, Fitness Model, Spokes Model for Bodybuilding.com’s upcoming B-Elite clothing series, NPC Bikini Competitor, and newly Certified Personal Trainer with the National Academy of Sports Medicine, she aspires to build a career in the Health and Fitness industry to further help and inspire others to achieve their fitness goals.