The holidays mean many things…and among those things is food. Lots of food. Most holiday gatherings center around food – lunch, dinner, brunch. As a cheer athlete, you have made a commitment to fitness, but the holidays can be a stressful time for those trying to eat healthy. Here are 7 tips to help you stay on track with healthy eating during the holidays: 1.) Do not skip meals. Often times people skip breakfast or lunch before a holiday dinner. While you may think you are saving yourself some calories, you are actually putting stress on your body. You may feel fatigue and not be able to make the best decisions on what to add to your plate. Since your body will be hungry, the cravings for sweet treats and seconds will intensify, and you’ll end up eating twice as many calories than if you had not skipped a meal. 2.) Fill up on hearty foods. Before a big gathering that involves food, eat oatmeal, whole-grain cereals, raisins and nuts, or a sandwich made with whole grain bread. High fiber foods will help you feel full and make it easier to resist all of the food at the party. When you are at the party, you can choose healthy foods like vegetables and fruits, and go easy on the high calorie choices. A good rule to remember is to keep your plate colorful! 3.) Indulge a little. Don’t completely deny yourself a piece of cake or your favorite dessert. Choose one dessert item, and cut yourself a small piece. The key is moderation: one small piece of dessert. 4.) It’s not a race. Pace your eating. If you eat slowly, you are less likely to rush to get seconds. Give your body a chance to tell you that it is full! Start with small portions and eat them slowly, being sure to put your silverware down between bites so you can drink some water. Once you have finished eating, wait several minutes before heading back to the buffet for seconds. If you do get seconds, be sure to stay in control by continuing to put only small portions on your plate. 5.) Don’t hang around the food. Out of sight, out of mind! After you get your food, go sit down to eat. When you are done eating, have conversations away from the food so that you don’t find yourself snacking constantly and picking at desserts. 6.) Bring some healthy snacks. Yes, it may be a little weird to bring your own food, but it will be much easier to resist filling up on unhealthy treats! Bring a low calorie dessert for yourself, and maybe some nuts and raisins to snack on before and after your meal. 7.) Stay active. Work exercise into the event. After dinner, take a walk around the neighborhood or play a game with the kids that will keep you working hard physically. How do you manage your intake of sweets during the holidays?