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The holidays are full of hearty meals, sweet treats and fat-laden snacks – which quickly add up to extra pounds. The good news, there is an easier way to enjoy holiday goodies without over doing it. Be prepared ahead of time, and you’ll be able to navigate holiday eating without the guilt or weight gain.

Consider the following tips when planning:

Enjoy your favorite foods; just be mindful of your portion sizes. Depriving yourself just makes you more likely to binge later.

When possible, choose a smaller plate to help control portions.

Wait 20 minutes before getting seconds, to give your body time to signal if you are full. Don’t feel obligated to eat everything you’re offered.

If you have leftovers, freeze them for lunch or dinner.

Eat plenty of vegetables throughout the season to help you feel fuller and control your appetite.

Eat a small, healthy snack before each get-together. If you starve yourself all day, you’ll overload on unhealthy foods.

When going to a party, bring a nutritious dish with you, such as nuts, veggies or even a healthier dessert alternative.

Eat slower and take time to enjoy your food. Try setting your fork down between bites.

Go easy on gravy, sauce and dressing.

Reduce or eliminate your alcohol intake to save a lot of calories. Focus on the people and activities at the party, rather than the food.

When baking, use low-fat or non-fat dairy. For example, swap plain yogurt for sour cream, and always choose fat-free milk.

Whenever possible buy lean cuts of meat. That includes poultry; opt for white meat over dark meat.

Don’t forget to be active! Try to fit extra activity in to counteract the extra calories this time of year.