The holidays mean two things: family and food. And as we all know, both of these can sabotage your diet during this time of year! From your abuela's pernil, to your mamá's flan de coco, and your tío's delicious coquito, it seems like a difficult task to maintain your diet--especially in a Latino household. But we found a way for you to have all of these and your cake too so you won't miss out this holiday season.

I personally can't resist any of the food that gets set on my dining table during the holidays. I particularly have a big sweet tooth which leaves even my loosest sweatpants feeling a little tight. But I don't want that to happen this year, so I've come up with 5 strategies that will help you maintain your weight and keep you from slipping up on your diet.

Read more ¿Qué más?: 5 Fatty foods that actually help you lose weight

Load up on protein: It's tempting to starve yourself before a big meal, but that only causes your metabolism to slow down. It's best to fill up throughout the day on protein filled snacks such as nuts, piece of turkey, even some fruits and vegetables--that way you won't gorge once mealtime comes around!

Control those portions: Just because you're surrounded by all this food doesn't mean you have to gluttonously eat everything. If you do, it's best to focus on portion control. Eat whatever you like but limit the foods choose to go for seconds. This in part is especially important to adhere when eating desserts and too many carbs.

Exercise, exercise, exercise! Naturally, eating all day makes you want to sleep and lay around, but that's the worst thing you can do! Try to get some exercise in, whether it's playing out in the snow, jogging on the treadmill, or going for a walk at some point during the day. The more calories you burn, the less likely you are to put on excess pounds.

Drink lots of water: It's easy to confuse thirst for hunger, so make sure you stay hydrated throughout the day. Drinking water can even help suppress your appetite because it is a fair indicator of whether you're hungry or not.

Limit alcoholic drinks: I know, the coquito your tío makes is irresistible, but you don't have to drink a whole bottle. Drinks like coquito are especially high in calories due to their creamy content, but you don't have to restrict yourself from having it. You can have a glass (and take your time savoring it), but don't go for seconds.

Well, there you have it. You can now enjoy the holidays and your favorite foods, but be mindful of how much and what you put on your plate. Most importantly don't forget to socialize! Socializing can easily take your mind off food, especially when your grandma is sharing juicy family gossip!

Image via Thinkstock

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About the author

Giselle Castro is the Editorial Assistant at Mamás Latinas. She loves anything involving film, fitness, nutrition, social media and catching up on the latest entertainment news.

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