By Nadia Popova

Thanksgiving is the official start of the holiday party season, and restrictive diets can make this time of the year grueling. But it’s also the time when most of us gain an extra 1-3 pounds that, unfortunately, tend to become permanent baggage.

Choose a few of the useful weight control-tips below to help you maintain your weight while still enjoying the good cheer and delicious food on Thanksgiving day and the rest of the holiday season.

Preparing for the Big Day

Wear a tight-fitting outfit. This will make you less likely to overeat because it becomes too uncomfortable.

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Don’t arrive starving. Eat before the big feast. A small healthful meal with lots of fiber (oatmeal, whole-grain sandwich, salad with beans) keeps you feeling full until dinner.

Make time for exercise every day, especially on Thanksgiving Day.

Establish some ground rules in advance of the meal that allow you to indulge but not pig out — for example, only one sliver of dessert.

Buddy up with someone who is also trying to keep his or her weight in check.

Keep a food journal and write down everything that you eat. This is an incredibly powerful tool, especially when you are tempted to overeat.

Start a new family tradition. Take a bike ride, go for a hike, or play tennis Thanksgiving morning.

Ready, Set, Go

Enjoy higher-calorie food in smaller portions.

Don’t eat food just because it is there. Save your calories for the foods you love..

Munch on fresh fruits and veggies instead of high fat appetizer

Desserts, Desserts, and More Desserts

Enjoy a small serving of dessert. Choose pumpkin over pecan pie and save a few hundred calories. Eat just the filling to take in fewer additional calories and limit trans fats.

When You’re Done

At the end of the meal, drink a glass of water and push away from the table to help you realize that you are full.

Follow the large meal with a leisurely walk.

Be realistic — don’t try to lose weight during the holidays, just aim to maintain your current weight. And if you plan on overindulging, bank some calories early in the week and get more physical activity before and after Thanksgiving Day to make up for it.

Fitness Coach/ Owner “Send Me a Trainer”