During the holidays, we allow ourselves to eat, drink and be merry — that is, until January, when we resolve to change our gluttonous ways. The problem with this strategy is that too many people mark their weight-loss resolution as “done” the moment they become card-carrying members of a gym, so the weight never comes off.

Researchers at the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), showed in a 2000 study that participants gained only one pound over the holidays, but they never lost it afterwards.

Researchers found that weight gain was minimized because participants were more active when they were eating more. This suggests that a little extra exercise during the holidays can help ward off extra pounds.

Here are some ideas to help you stay active during those dangerous winter months:

  • Take extra laps around the mall during your holiday shopping trips
  • Park farther away, and walk briskly to stores
  • Work out in your own home with a fun fitness video
  • Exercise the old-fashioned way, with jumping jacks, push-ups and sit ups

You can also keep those pounds off by watching what you eat, but that's easier said than done. After years of struggling through holidays myself, I came up with a few tips to make facing those tempting meals a little easier:

  • Eat a high protein breakfast on the day of a social gathering — it'll help prevent sugar cravings later
  • Eat a high fiber snack an hour before the meal — you'll be less hungry when temptation arrives
  • Drink plenty of water – dehydration enhances feelings of hunger
  • Don't wear pants with elastic waistbands — they make you less likely to stop eating when you're full
  • Plan activities that don't involve food — simply avoid temptation

Healthy Bites appears on MyHealthNewsDaily on Wednesdays. Deborah Herlax Enos is a certified nutritionist and a health coach and weight loss expert in the Seattle area with more than 20 years of experience. Read more tips on her blog, Health in a Hurry!