The holidays are quickly approaching, and you know what that means ... pie, cookies, hot cocoa and holiday parties. Each year, we give ourselves a free pass (or two), but then January hits and the guilt sets in.

Clean eating and staying healthy this season can be difficult, but it's not impossible. Here are five simple tips to keep you on track.

1. Eat throughout the day

It may seem tempting to save all your calories for a big meal, but the trick to not overeating is to make sure you eat enough throughout the day.

According to Shreela Sharma, Ph.D., R.D., of the University of Texas Health Sciences Center at Houston, skipping meals throughout the day will actually make you gain weight. Once the body enters starvation mode, it will start holding on to every calorie you consume, which will pack on the pounds.

It's best to stick to your normal eating schedule.

2. Skip the nap

After you consume a large meal, it seems only normal to want to take a nap. Instead of lying on the couch, take a walk.

Dr. Simran Saini, a leading nutritionist, tells NDTV that a brisk walk right after a meal helps in better digestion and reduces belly fat. Walking after a big meal also uses up your consumed nutrients more efficiently.

So, grab your shoes and get going!

3. Choose and pour wisely

Nothing says the holidays like your work Christmas party. Everyone is looking forward to it, ready to relax and have a good time. While it's sure to be fun and festive, it will also be a huge test. The thing to keep in mind here is to choose wisely and pour wisely.

Eating Well states that you will consume the largest quantity of the foods you eat first, so set yourself up for success by choosing a low-calorie option first. When pouring yourself a drink — wine, for example a trick to staying on track is to count 1-2-3 when pouring yourself a glass. This is an easy way to get an estimated 5-ounce serving, which is a healthy amount to stick to.

4. More cooking, less fast food

With friends and family around during the holidays, people tend to meet up and go out to eat. Those meals may be delicious, but restaurant calories add up quickly.

Make the effort to eat a healthy, home-cooked meal when possible. If you're able to, meal prepping can be a great help.

5. Make time for exercise

The last thing you want to do this time of year is go to the gym. It's cold outside, and you would rather just continue watching "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" while drinking egg nog.

Strike a balance between working out and eating right, and those lazy days on the couch will be more rewarding. Even if you're busy with family and friends, make working out a family outing.

Whether you're going on a hike or even just walking around the mall doing your holiday shopping, get moving!

Whatever your plans are, remember that the holidays only last for two months. Keep yourself on track, but also let yourself indulge a little bit. After all, what are the holidays without a Peppermint White Chocolate Mocha from Starbucks?