Credit: Charles Sykes/Bravo Photo: Sheree Whitfield Flaunts Her Fabulous Figure

No one enjoys the holiday season more than reality star Sheree Whitfield. But the Atlanta matriarch, an avid health buff who’s working on building her own fitness brand, also knows how easy it is to go overboard on the merriment.

“It’s a wonderful time of year full of family, love, laughter and food,” Sheree tells Wetpaint Entertainment. “But it’s also a time when most of us eat and drink more than normal. My motto is: Enjoy yourself, but keep your health in mind, too. It’s easy to pack on the pounds, it’s much harder to take them off.”

With that in mind, Sheree shared her top five tips for staying in shape this Christmas:

1. When it comes to mealtime, it’s all about moderation and making good choices. “It’s good to indulge, but you can limit the fat and calories by slightly changing the recipes,” Sheree explains. “If you normally use pork or bacon to flavor your greens, use turkey or turkey bacon. Instead of normal chicken broth, try low sodium for the dressing. And when it comes to the turkey, stick with skinless, white meat.”

2. Drink this, not that. “Egg nog is a holiday tradition,” Sheree notes. “But it’s cream-based and super caloric. Why not enjoy a glass or two of good red wine instead? Besides having fewer calories, it’s loaded with antioxidants and will leave you less lethargic.”

Credit: John Amis/Bravo © 2011 NBCUniversal, Inc. Photo: Sheree at Kandi’s Party in Season 4, Episode 4: “Jewels Be Dangled”

3. Eat earlier in the day, then get off your butt. “I prefer to eat my holiday meal by 3 or 4 p.m.,” says Sheree. “Then make a smaller plate later on, around 7. After a big meal, the tendency is to put on the TV and crash out. But why not play some games or go on a nice family walk? Besides helping burn calories, it’s a great way for everyone to bond.”

4. Try to squeeze in a workout. “If possible, don’t abandon exercise completely,” she advises. “If you normally hit the gym three or four times a week, try to go once or twice. Or take a long, brisk walk. If there’s no way for you to do that, then just make sure you get right back into your normal routine the week after. Don’t let one week off turn into two, three or four.”

5. Above all, don’t be too hard on yourself.  “The holidays are meant for enjoying,” Sheree concludes. “So there’s no need to beat yourself up if you have a couple of pieces of cake. Just make sure you get back to your normal diet and fitness regimen after the season’s over. Having a buddy to start your New Year’s resolutions off right can make all the difference. Set small, reasonable goals for yourself and work together.”

Got it! And don’t forget, if you’re still looking for stocking stuffers, check out these cute pieces from the jewelry line Sheree curated for Kitsylane. Now, what time can we come over for some of your famous sweet potato pie, Sheree?