Let’s face it: With Mami’s pernil in the oven and the office party’s open bar calling your name, the holidays are probably not the best time to start a new diet. But there’s plenty you can do to fight off those celebration pounds without depriving yourself:
1. Go to bed. Studies show that being a sleep-deprived zombie can make it harder to tell when you’re full and lead to an increase in hormones that stimulate hunger.
2. When imbibing, avoid mixers—you’ll dodge tons of empty calories. (See above for more drinking tips.)
3. Carry healthy snacks when flying. Baggies of cereal or dried fruit should keep you out of the fast-food court.
4. Going to a potluck? Make a healthy version of your favorite dish so there’s at least one thing on the menu that won’t pummel your waistline.
5. If you’re hosting the festivities, ask guests to take leftovers—you don’t want those turkey legs calling your name in the middle of the night.
6. If there’s a buffet, use an appetizer-sized plate, then ditch the food area and strike up a convo so you’re not tempted to eat out of boredom.
7. Better yet, eat a snack before you go. Willpower is easier to come by when you’re not starving.