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The holidays can be messy and stressful. Don't let it ruin your hard work! Stay fit, healthy and stress free by following these top ten tips!

The Christmas season is just around the corner. With all the excitement and fun of the holidays also comes stress, poor eating habits, short cut workouts, and other healthy lifestyle sacrifices. Don't let it happen this year!

Whether you love or dread getting together with the family or your place of employment during the season, it's bound to happen. Temptation for unhealthy sugary foods will be abundant, and most people lose their way, gaining unwanted weight and feeling tired, stressed and bloated for days at a time.

This is often also a vacation time. If you're heading on vacation, is it worth it to throw away the gains you've made for a little play time? Whatever the case may be, you can still stay fit and healthy during this holiday season. We've compiled the top 10 ways that you can stay fit and healthy throughout this holiday season, leaving you feeling refreshed in the new year.

1. Avoid appetizers

Heading to a party? The best thing you can do to avoid overeating is to avoid appetizers. These will fill you up before the meal, and you'll end up stuffing yourself unnecessarily. Also, appetizers at parties are usually high in salt, wheat or simple sugars. They are often prepackaged and full of preservatives.

If you are very hungry and can't wait for the meal, opt for healthy, natural snacks; nuts, fresh veggies and dip, and other fresh foods. These won't fill you up, and are full of healthy nutrients!

2. Pack your lunch

Sure, this season is busy. Shopping for gifts and getting together with out of town family members will keep you on your toes, making the smaller tasks more difficult to accomplish.

During this season, most people spend twice as much on eating out because they complain of not having enough time time do groceries and pack adequate lunches.

If you can afford a few minutes per week picking out simple lunch ideas you'll avoid spending a whole lot of money on fast foods, and be able to control what you eat. Ready made lunch items are available in most groceries, including fresh, pre-cut veggie portions with dipping sauce.

3. Pack plenty of snacks

A part of packing a good lunch is to back appropriate snacks. This is especially important during the Christmas season because you'll be faced with all sorts of sugary treats at every turn. You'll need to have healthy snacks you can rely on. If you know you may have to go shopping right after work, avoid the inevitable snack purchase along the way.

Its a good idea to always carry almonds, nuts or a trail mix with you. Keep one jar at your workplace and another small tupper ware in your car or in your purse. Keep yourself alert and saving precious dollars without worrying about what you're eating!

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