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Mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie, all the pies! If you’re anything like us, the holiday season isn’t exactly an exercise in restraint. To keep things in check, we sat down with Skinnygirl herself, Bethenny Frankel (who just put out a new line of high-protein bars and shakes) to get her tips on how not to gain nine million pounds this holiday season.

PureWow: What’s your number one tip for avoiding holiday weight gain?
Bethenny Frankel: Focus on the higher quality food on your plate first. Have soup or salad or a veggie side before getting to the stuffing or potatoes. That way, you earn your highly caloric foods but won’t go overboard.

PW: But if I’m eating salad first, how do I not get really drunk?
Make protein the highlight of appetizer hour. Hit up the shrimp plate, the cheese plate, the nut tray. And obviously keep drinking water.

PW: True or false: The diet goes out the window on Thanksgiving?
BF: False. Your common sense should never go out the window. Eat whatever you want, but put a reasonable amount on your plate. And stop yourself after seconds.

PW: Salty or sweet?
BF: Both!

PW: Mashed potatoes or sweet?

PW: What’s your favorite holiday tradition?
BF: Decorating the tree with my daughter. We really pimp it out. It’s total Carmela Soprano.

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