The holidays are one of my favorite times of year. There is plenty of spendlor, wonder and lots of cookies. But as someone who lost 100 pounds in the past, I can't help but sometimes get scared that my weight will start to creep back up around this magical time of year. It's hard to resist all of the delicious drinks and foods around this time of year, especially when my social calendar quickly fills up with parties at work, with family and with friends. And because I want to attend them all, it's not unusual for me to step on the scale the next morning and think: YIKES! 

More from MamásLatinas: 15 Tiny changes you can make to cut calories easily & lose weight

Thankfully, there's quite a few things I have learned about dropping pounds during the holidays in the past seven years since my major weight loss. But it's not easy. Here's how to indulge during the holidays and still lose weight.

1. Make sure you portion control at parties. 1

It's easy to overindulge if you don't have a plan. So here's your plan: When you go to a party, keep portion control in mind. What does that mean? It means that if you want to try absolutely everything in front of you, don't pile your plate high with two or three servings of everything. It's perfectly fine to take a bite of something and then chuck it. Although that might seem wasteful, it's better than overeating and feeling bad about it in the morning.


2. Stick to just one cocktail per night. 2

You probably already know that it's best not to mix liquors, or else you'll be left with a massive headache in the morning. Here's another tip: Just have ONE cocktail per party. That might sound like a bit of a bore, but it's the perfect way to indulge a little bit while saving the calories from having too much to drink. You'll save yourself the stress, worry and a big headache. Instead, sip on plain water or a sparkling water with lime while still chatting with all of your family and friends, and having a good time. 


3. Eat healthy during the day. 3

On days that you know that you have a big party and a lot of indulgences later on, give yourself a break during the evening but make sure to keep to your usual healthy eating habits during the day. Whether it's a salad, a veggie burrito or your usual fish tacos, you can keep to eating healthy during the day and then really enjoy your night later on. This will not only save you plenty of calories before your big night out but it will also allow you to not stress over every little thing you put in your mouth later on. 

4. Drink plenty of water. 4

It's very, very important to stay hydrated during the day. Not only is water a no-calorie dirnk, but it will also help you to stay full. The big trick to making sure you're staving off hunger is to drink an entire glass of water before you eat. This way you can see whether you're hungry or just thirsty. Then, once you are out and about at a party, keep drinking water throughout the night. Not only will you be plenty hydrated but you will also feel plenty good when you don't eat everything in sight the minute you hear your tummy rumbling (because it won't). 


5. Get at least 8 hours of sleep per night. 5

Sleep is absolutely crucial to your bodily functions and your mental health. Good sleep is also essential if you want to keep the weight off, since we tend to crave carbs when we feel tired. Eating carbs during the day or, even worse, grabbing every carb in sight once you're at your holiday party can be a recipe for plenty of holiday weight gain. Make sure you prioritize feeling good by making sure you are getting some sleep. Trust us, it'll make you a much better party guest too. 


6. Don't skip out on exercise. 6

It might be easy to stop going to the gym during the very, very busy holiday season, but this is exactly what you should NOT be doing. When you begin to miss your activity, you can quickly fall into becoming lazy and overindulging at every turn. Instead of not going for your usual run or skipping out on your yoga class, keep making this a priority. Keep up with your usual routine or, if you have to, at least try an easy exercise app


7. Offer to bring a potluck dish every time. 7

If you are going to a party and aren't sure what to expect, talk to the host and offer to bring something instead. While it's customary to bring wine, opt for a healthy dish so that you'll at least have something safe to munch on. Go for something simple like a veggie and hummus plate or try making a simple layered taco dip. I'm a fan of the skinny taco dip from Latina food blogger Gina Homolka of Skinnytaste. It's delicious AND not all that bad for you. Everyone will simply gobble it up! 

8. Have a partner in crime. 8

One of the best ways to make sure that you don't overindulge during the holiday season is to have a partner in crime. Basically, this is a person that you can check in with who will keep you in check with your health goals. Ideally, it should be a friend who is also trying to lose weight, who will join you for that morning yoga class and who will go to some holiday parties with you to remind you of some of these tips. Basically, it's a healthy goals buddy who you can bond with over your mutual goals. 


9. Don't skip the dessert. 9

One of the best parts of the holidays is the desserts, right? You probably would feel pretty down on yourself if you couldn't indulge in the sweet stuff... but then the added calories will surely have you thinking otherwise. Have no fear, because we have the solution: Indulge in dessert! But just as you do with having just one cocktail and keeping your portions down, stick to just ONE dessert and only have a few bites. It's the perfect way to have something sweet to eat but still lose weight during the holidays.