Remember how people used to say ‘ a moment on the lips, forever on the hips’? Well, I prefer the mantra, “sweet on taste, lays your sugar to waste.” Okay, so the wording may be a bit extreme. But it’s meant to be alarmist because when those holiday cakes, cookies and cream puffs come a calling (or caroling) out your name, you’ll gonna have to tune ’em out. Plus, with holiday sweets, it’s way too easy to get queasy, especially once you’ve broken up with sugar. So yes, there’s no harm in sounding a mild alarm: it helps us be prepared.

For instance, when you’re on the holiday social circuit and things get sugary, it can be annoying to have to leave the party to run home and eat, or trek around unknown neighborhoods in the hopes of coming across something low carb. So, word to the wise: don’t improvise—eat before you go! True, you may miss out on something good if you arrive full, but it’s so much worse to be famished with only a tin of fudge staring you down than it is to risk missing out on some surprise low-carb noshes. And in case the circuit should turn into a marathon, you can always stash some snacks big enough to see you through, including a trusty, portable 85% dark chocolate bar or if you want to up your indulgence, a handy selection of confections from CurlyGirlz. You will not feel deprived.

But you’ll still have to stay wary of your low-sugar frenemies, who’ll likely also be out in full force during the holidays. They’re just waiting to pounce on you for passing on those special holiday foods—“oh give me a break, just try some” —because in fact it’s the time of year when their own will power is at it’s lowest! Don’t take the bait. Wait until it’s your idea to eat those carbs and don’t let the adult equivalent of a ‘double dare’ derail you. You’ll be mad at yourself later for caving in without even enjoying the carbs because you consumed them just to prove that sometimes you do. Once you’ve gotten past the peer pressure, you’ll be in an excellent position to enjoy carbs vicariously and to choose your intentional splurge(s) on your own terms and with a surgeon’s precision. I also recommend making sure you’ve got some alternative decadence waiting for you back at home to lessen the FOMO factor: for me, having some low-carb pumpkin pie chilling in the frigo works wonders. It also offers extra protection against any sugar bomb holiday gift baskets left on your doorstep. In fact, almost unbelievably, in the middle of writing this post (at someone else’s home), a neighbor dropped off a bag of shining, milk chocolate Chanukah gelt!

Finally, and because the holidays are considered an occasion where both we’re “treating” ourselves—including to sweets—and less apt to exercise if we are in cold weather, if you make a point of working out before going out (and not the next morning), your blood sugar as well as your muscles will benefit from the burn. Of course, if all this fails and your low-carb vision becomes muddy, you can always get in touch with Goodbuy, your trusty, low-carb buddy. Healthy holidays to all!