The holidays are fast approaching and the onslaught of work parties, block parties, happy hours and gifts from well-meaning neighbors are enough to derail the best-laid plans. Is it possible to get through the holidays without that much hyped 5 to 7 pound gain? Yes. With a few strategies, your clients can end the holidays on a healthy note. Advise them to do the following:

Do not choose November or December to start a liquid diet, low carb cleanse, or protein plan. They’re setting themselves up for failure if they do. Extreme plans of any sort do not have good track records but if they are dead set on a particular program, strongly advise them to wait until January. Suggest making a workout schedule and sticking to it. Prioritize workouts above shopping, gift wrapping or cooking. Keep them accountable for session attendance. Holidays are often the season of “tough love” for personal trainers.

Remind them not to go to parties hungry. Advise them have a healthy meal beforehand. Pair a large salad with a lean protein, like chicken or turkey, for a volume-heavy meal that should keep them full for a few hours. Suggest they offer to be the designated driver. Cocktails tend to be extremely high in calories and since they’re usually consumed at night, there is less likelihood of burning them off before bed. If driving isn’t an issue, suggest they decide beforehand how much they’re going to drink and stick to that limit. Remember lower calorie options such as wine spritzers or straight spirits. Remind them to keep drinking water! Cold weather makes water consumption less appealing but dehydration is still possible. Unless it’s something that’s worth it, avoid drinking calories.

Get enough sleep. Late night soirees wreak havoc on sleep schedules. Turn in early when possible. Advocate not eating heavy meals or drinking alcohol right before bed, as this will adversely affect sleep patterns. Recommend that they work in extra exercise when possible. Parking far away from the store entrance and taking the stairs instead of the elevator are excellent methods to sneak in extra cardio.

They must manage stress. Whiny children, obnoxious in-laws and annoying co-workers can grate on the nerves and send any well-intentioned person straight to the cookie jar. Focus on healthy ways to decompress. Schedule a massage. Take a walk. Get lost in a non-holiday themed book. During extra time off, encourage them try a new fitness class or video. They may discover a new sport they love and it will be that much easier to stay on track.

If your clients can work these tips into their schedules, they’ll be ahead of the game when the New Year begins.