We all love holidays, but when you’re trying to eat well, it feels like they come up all too often. After all, what’s the best way to celebrate? With food! It’s not surprising that most Americans gain weight at the end of the year and struggle to get it off. To help you get back where you want to be, try out these simple ways to stay on track and avoid extra weight gain.


Use a napkin. Little appetizers look so innocent, but in reality, they can actually add up to more calories than your main meal. If you ditch the appetizer plate and eat off of a napkin instead, you will make it harder to overindulge on those high-calorie starters.


Politely decline food pushers. We all have that one person in our lives. It’s usually a relative or a friend who is always trying to get you taste everything. Instead of giving in, be ready to decline with a polite statement you’ve prepared in advance. Doing this will help you set boundaries at gatherings so that you are back in control of your food choices.


Make that mocktail prettier. Did you know that you can actually trick your mind into releasing those happy feelings without all the alcohol? By using different glassware and garnishes, you can trigger those happy feelings without all the calories. Try filling a champagne glass with your favorite seltzer and garnish it with pomegranate arils. Or, you can put some low-fat eggnog with nutmeg in a brandy glass.


Focus on your favorites. When you go out for a meal, it’s easy to go a little overboard. Instead, spend your calories a little more wisely. Make a few adjustments throughout the day to save your calories for your favorite meal.


Snack smart. It may seem counterproductive, but eating a healthy snack before you head out for an evening helps you stay focused and avoid binging on calorie-filled foods. Look for snacks that are high in protein and fiber. They will help you feel fuller longer and keep your blood sugar down.


Look for food-free activities. More often than not, parties and gatherings involve food. It’s no wonder that we struggle to keep the weight off. When possible, plan your activities around a physical activity, like hike or a game.