As another season filled with Christmas cookies, happy hours and social gatherings approaches, the question remains--is it possible to indulge without putting on the pounds? Fitness expert Andrea Orbeck shares her top tips for keeping you looking svelte--without having to give up the pie!

1. Be mindful of social calories.
Eat light when you are alone and heavier when you are in a group. The economy of 'earn it or pay for it,' calorically speaking, definitely applies here. Before a big social dinner, have small, lighter meals to balance blood sugar and keep energy levels stable. Although not a license to pig out, we all know that the social calories are part of the festive eating. Chicken salad, tuna with chopped onion and celery on crackers, or piece of fruit with 1/2 cup of lowfat cottage cheese are great options before the big feast.

2. Grab a snack.
Before the big social meal, have something more substantial to eat so you don't completely go off the deep end. Having a protein-based snack like Greek yogurt may keep the reigns on a 1000-calorie binge at the buffet table.

3. Know your nice from naughty list.
Mixed nuts are a great choice at a party, but stick to a handful to keep calories from adding up. Instead, switch to dip with veggies or crackers to spare the extra calories. When it comes to the buffet table, be mindful. Filling up your plate with lean meats instead of baked goods can end up making a huge difference.

4. Buy groceries to support good choices.
We know the temptations to fill your cart with cookies, goodies and candy are high this time of year, but remember to leave room for mixed vegetables, fruits, and meals with lean choices.

5. Watch the hidden calories like alcohol.
Two glasses of wine will cost you 300 calories. Make a sangria with your white or red wine and mix it with Stevia soda--they are low calorie and have no artificial sugars in them. You can even add in some frozen fruit! It will cut down your calories and alcohol per serving.

6. Remember, a little exercise can go a long way!
So the holidays are dominating your gym time? Make every minute count! Do a home-based circuit with inexpensive dumbbells by doing chest presses, bent over rows, overhead presses, squats and then abs on the floor--repeat this circuit 4 times in less than 15 minutes and you'll get your heartrate up, your muscles pumped in the same time it would've taken to find parking at the gym!