The holidays are upon us, and, in addition to a few weeks off of work, for many of us that means a plethora of cookies, baked goods, Christmas pudding, pies, ice cream and lots of booze … everywhere. OMG it’s a caloric nightmare! For me those baked goods and office parties translate to way too many calories that I do not want on my currently shrinking frame.

So how do you get through the holidays without gaining a million pounds? I’m going to share a few pointers.

First of all, don’t beat yourself up if you ate like a pig over Thanksgiving. That holiday is over. Put it behind you. So, maybe you ate too much stuffing. What’s done is done. Think about today and about tomorrow and what you can do to make your life and health better moving forward. Here are five tips to help you keep the weight off or maintain your weight during the season:

Tip 1: Do some type of cardio everyday. A lot of you have demanding jobs, a family to tend to, and a million reasons why you wouldn’t be able to make it in to the gym, but what I’m telling you is this: do not let anything come between you and your workout. This is the season for giving. Give yourself the gift of health. The days I can’t make it to the gym (which are rare) I make sure I go on a quick walk. It’s your daily gift to your body. Look at it like that and you will make the effort.

Tip 2: Keep a few types of lean protein in the fridge. This means turkey breast slices, egg whites, or chicken breast. Having these on hand will help stave off cravings for sweets. Buy fresh veggies and do the same. I keep a bag of string beans and cook them al dente on the skillet with a little Pam spray, some shallots or scallions, and a little fat free vegetable broth. When I need a crunchy bite I reach for my beans — way better than nibbling on chocolate.

Tip 3: Take a class. You’re more apt to keep going and make better progress if you surround yourself with people who also are trying to get fit. Did you know that Burn Fitness offers some of the best classes in Santa Monica? And here’s a secret tip: You don’t have to be a member to attend. For $10 a class you can indulge in yoga, Pilates, TRX, kick box burn (a high intensity kickboxing/aerobic class that will leave you drenched in sweat), indoor cycling, aerobics and more.

Tip 4: Moderation. If you must, allow yourself one drink at the holiday party. A low calorie beer, a glass of wine, or one shot of vodka is OK. Also, make sure you’re not drinking on an empty stomach. Don’t allow everyone else’s bad habits or lack of self-control to cramp your success. It’s about getting through the holiday, healthy. A hangover does not equal victory.

Tip 5: If you have to eat sweets — eat sugar free. There are plenty of excellent, natural sugar substitutes out there. You can make tasty, low-carb, cookies that taste great and fit into a low-glycemic diet.

Remember, with everything you do, consistency is the key to success. Focus on being consistent. Don’t worry about getting through next week’s office parties. Take it one day at a time so that you may meet the New Year in health.

Happy holidays!

Taylor can be reached at tailfish@roadrunner.com.

By the numbers

Starting Weight: 182

Pounds Lost: 28.

Current Weight: 154

Goal Weight: 135

Pounds to Lose to Goal: 19