The holidays are a great time for fun and spending time with family, but it can be absolutely terrible for your diet. Balancing your diet with holiday meals is difficult, as you don't want to miss out on the fun of the season, but you also don't want to hinder your goals. The following tips will help you minimize the diet setbacks of the holidays and keep you on track to reach your dietary goals.

Eat extra-healthy during your non-holiday meals

You likely have some major meals planned this holiday season, and their calorie counts might make your head spin. But you don't want your diet to run your life, nor do you want to miss out on the holiday celebrations. 

Luckily, while these meals might throw your calorie counts off course, they will only be a minority of your meals. Use your regular meals to help make up the deficit. Stock your fridge with healthy, nutrition-dense foods so you can make room for the celebrations.

Avoid setting out bowls of candy

For many, sticking to a diet requires keeping bad food out of sight. During the holidays, this can be difficult as bowls of candy and trays of sweets are common decorations used throughout the house or office. This can absolutely wreck your diet as you might find yourself snacking on treats throughout the day--so absentmindedly that you can't even keep track of how many you've had. 

Defeat this temptation at the source. Instead of putting out sweets and chocolates, put out seasonal fruit or non-food decorations! If you're hosting any parties, you can always swap them out for candy beforehand.

Focus on Nutrition-Dense Foods

Your typical holiday meal might lend you a few choices in food. Some are sweet, some are bready, and some are savory. Usually, you have no great options if you are trying to stick to a diet, but you can still work to mitigate the setbacks to your calorie goals.

Keep one thing in your mind as you sit down with your friends and family to eat: Nutrients. Foods high in nutrients are typically low-calorie and highly filling. If you focus on the nutrient-rich options, such as fruits and vegetables, you'll fill yourself up faster and avoid the staggering calories often found at the holiday dinner table.

Avoid sugary drinks

This is good advice any time of the year, but you should especially keep this in mind during the holidays. Drinks like soda and eggnog contain hundreds of calories and will do almost nothing to fill you up. If there is one thing you should try your hardest to avoid, it's empty calories like this. Instead, keep a supply of tea, coffee, or sparkling water throughout the season. You'll feel better, and you'll be saving your diet from countless unsatisfying calories.

You can save your diet this holiday season. By following these steps, you'll feel healthier while also knowing you are still working toward your health goals. And once the holidays are finished, you'll be entering the new year with better health and an intact diet!