We all love the smell of a fresh fried turkey, yams, and Grandma’s good old collard greens with a side of homemade cornbread (not that Jiffy stuff). As we come off the heels of thanksgiving, I imagine more than a few of us are having some serious dining remorse. Before you throw in the towel and Christmas parties begin, here are some ways to avoid holiday gluttony but still enjoy those savory meals:

1. Use a smaller plate. Portion control is key and starting off with a smaller plate with help you stay on course. It’s the holiday, so don’t go through the trouble of measuring your food or stressing over every single calorie. Simply using a smaller plate is a great start!

2. Use a smaller serving utensil. Doing this will also help you with portion control. If you use a smaller spoon to get the cornbread dressing, you are less likely to get more than you need and ultimately still feel energized and full. This also ensures your not wasting food by piling it on.

3. Avoid leftovers. Once the holidays are over, most people eat the dinner food for the next week. If you have goals, this may not be the best decision. Give yourself the freedom to enjoy the meal, but try getting back to clean eating the following day.

4. Drink water. Drink a glass of water before your meal, while you’re eating your meal and after your meal. Drinking water will expand your stomach and make you feel full which will help you avoid overeating.

5. Chew slowly. By eating slower, you will consume fewer calories. It takes about 20 minutes for our brain to register that we are full. It also aids in better digestion.

6. Truly enjoy your food and family. Whatever you do, DO NOT feel guilty about eating the food. You will be back to clean eating the next day. It’s good to shock our bodies sometimes and stressing over holiday regrets will typically lead to overeating as well.

7. Ditch the “All downhill from here” mentality. Did you throw all rules the window on Thanksgiving? A few days of breaking the rules, does not mean you have to end the year with unhealthy dieting. Instead of waiting until the new year to set a new goal, allow yourself to enter 2015 feeling and looking great!

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