CHAPEL HILL, N.C.-- The holiday season is officially here, and that means cooler temperatures, special time with friends and family and great food and drinks.  But it also comes with extra weight gain for some of us.  According to a study from Cornell University, it took half of the 3,000 people surveyed five months to loose the weight they gained over the holidays.  Shockingly, the weight gain starts in October and lasts through the end of the year. 

We sat down with healthy living expert and Chapel Hill Fit4Mom owner Amy Rosso for a look at 5 tips she says will help keep us on track for the holidays. 

TIP #1: Know your goals & have fun

Whatever your motivation is, write it down.  She then says share your goals with your friends and have fun celebrating your small victories! 

TIP #2: Book it

Are you working out at home, or taking a class and if so, which one?   Rosso says write it down, tell your spouse, family or friends and stick to your plan.  She says make your plan go through January. It will help take the guesswork out of finding your motivation after the holidays. 

TIP #3: Don't be afraid of the dark

Daylight saving time is a downer for many.  With the sun rising later and setting earlier in the day, Ross says don't let that deter you from your health goals.  She says being stronger than your strongest excuse is a great motivation to get out of the warm bed, and once you're moving you'll thank yourself for it!   She also says the best news is if you make it through the cold dark days, the springtime workouts are will be a breeze. 

TIP #4: Find the best choice

Staying on track doesn't mean missing out on fun holiday events or parties.  Rosso suggests picking the best option of the choices available on the dinner table, while remember it is a special holiday treat.  She says to look to fill your plate with mostly lean proteins and vegetables, drink a big glass of water between each alcoholic drink, and choose the ONE thing you really want to enjoy (dessert, booze, or seconds of your favorite dish), and then ENJOY IT!  

TIP #5: Write it down

Find a system that works for you to write down your daily workouts, water intake, meals, snacks, and how you felt that day.  This tracking process will be a game changer in bringing mindfulness to your behaviors and actions, and helping you figure out how certain food, drink and exercise makes you feel. 

Last but most importantly, enjoy the season and holidays.  Which is easy to do when you feel healthy after following these tips. 

Fore more information visit Fit4Mom's website.

Go into the holiday season and winter months prepared, and you'll be thrilled with your ability to enjoy the holidays while maintaining your fitness goals! You've got this, mama!