It’s the most wonderful time of year (pie!) but also the most bloated (double pie!). To avoid the dreaded holiday weight gain, follow these seven simple tips that just might even negate the need to make a January dieting resolution (for the 11th year in a row).

holiday weight drink

Alternate alcohol with sparkling water

Cocktails and Champagne are pretty much unavoidable during the holidays. But instead of sipping with abandon or abstaining altogether, try alternating alcoholic drinks with sparkling water. You’ll still feel festive (bubbles, duh), but you'll save a ton of calories. The lack of hangover the next morning doesn’t hurt, either.

holiday weight cheese

Don't "save up" calories

You might think fasting in the hours leading up to a party gives you license to go all out, but it’s never a good idea to go to a party hungry. Low blood sugar from hunger increases cortisol levels, which means you’ll crave unhealthy foods. A few hours before you’re due at a party, have a healthy snack like raw veggies or nuts. 

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Chew gum while baking

Everyone’s obsessed with your cheesecake bars (and you will probably have to make them, like, five times during the holidays). While baking, though, chew gum. With your mouth occupied, you won’t be constantly sneaking bites…and unnecessary calories.

holiday weight craving

satisfy your cravings

Classifying certain foods as "off-limits" will not only make you miserable, but it will also make you more likely to overdo it in a binge. Instead, if you're craving Aunt Carol's potatoes au gratin, help yourself to a small portion. You'll feel satisfied without succumbing to the urge to stuff your face. 

RELATED: 9 Reasons Your Diet Isn't Working

holiday weight leftovers

Invest in Tupperware

Say you’re hosting the party. At the end of the night, send your guests home with all of the leftover food (that is gloriously dripping in cheese and oil). The less that remains in your fridge the morning after, the better. You’ll need a real vegetable or two in the days after, anyway.

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Wear something formfitting

Holiday parties are ripe for overeating. One way to practice portion control is to wear something snug (lace skirt, yes; sequin muumuu, maybe not). You’ll be more conscious of how your body feels in a fitted outfit and might think twice about having that fourth gingerbread cookie. (You have full permission, however, to eat three.)

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Get enough sleep (we mean it)

Yes, you have a billion things to do, but a busy schedule is no excuse for skipping out on sleep. Research shows that people who sleep fewer than five hours have lower levels of leptin, a hormone that controls how full you feel. When you’re tired, you feel hungrier and less satisfied after meals, so it becomes even more important during the holidays to get enough zzzs.

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