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 It’s sad, but true that most of us will gain several pounds over the Holiday season. And even worse, we tend not to take those pounds off, staying a bit heavier and adding to the statistics that tell us many adults are overweight.

And, we tend to begin celebrating the holiday season at Halloween instead of waiting until a few weeks before Christmas. There will be sweet treats and temptations from now on. You need a healthy plan.

Here are  Ask Granny’s eight tips to help you maintain control as you attend open houses, buffet dinners and parties over the 2014 holiday season. Go into the happy season ready to do battle with the concept of anything goes. You’ll have a plan ready to put into motion the minute you see the gorgeous array of tasty treats.

Never arrive hungry to a holiday event that offers refreshments. Have you experienced firsthand a grocery shopping trip when your tummy is growling? It isn’t a pretty picture. If you’re hungry and aren’t able to eat a meal before you go, eat an apple or other healthy snack before you enter the danger zone.

Focus on more than the food. Holidays are about music and dance, they’re about seeing friends and family, so focus on the relationships and the entertainment. The food should be a minor attraction, although a pleasant one.

Limit your food intake with simple tactics such as using a smaller plate and eating more slowly. If you’re making pleasant conversation, you can put your fork down rather than using all the meal time for eating. Select food to fit comfortably on the smaller plate with no “second layers.” If you take less, you’ll eat less.

Select the simpler foods such as fruits and vegetables, plain slices of cheese or meats with no sauces or dips to add calories. You may even bring along your own healthy lower calorie treat if you know there won’t be healthy choices available.

Limit alcohol consumption. This not only helps you maintain control of your eating choices, it also limits calorie intake.

Be very selective when you eat sweet treats. You may be able to eat small portions of several of your favorites, or choose only one. Don’t allow yourself to take more than you want to put in your body. Once it’s on the plate, it’s hard to stop eating.

One way to stay in control is to eat only one canapé per half hour, or adopt some other rule that will help you manage the time when food is available for several hours. Maybe you can elect to have your treat at a certain time and then spend the rest of the event engaging in other activities.

Increase your activity levels during the holidays. Add a thirty minute walk to your morning or evening routine. You’ll feel better and you’ll help avoid the holiday weight gain so common among adults today.

You don’t have to gain weight this holiday season. It’s all about control and having a plan. If you’re determined to make 2014 and 2015  years in which you maintain your ideal weight and avoid those extra pounds, you’ll find success. Go ahead and make your plan. You can do it.