The turkey has been stuffed and the guests have enjoyed a feast of food. Shopping has begun and the holiday season is well underway. As one holiday is said and done we are nearing the next, and all of the delicious treats and added stress can quickly lead to unwanted weight gain.

With weeks of holiday eating from family celebrations, friend’s cocktail parties, holiday work parties and potlucks, it can be hard to deny all of the decadent delights that everyone is sure to offer. Then in addition to the food, add all of the holiday worries that come with preparation, buying gifts and money spent; stress can sure rack up and this is how the pounds accumulate. But there’s still a way to enjoy the gatherings and all the holiday dish traditions — from French silk pie to the turkey stuffing — with these simple tricks to help avoid holiday weight gain.

Chew slowly and put your fork down. It may seem like a reminder for toddlers learning to eat solids, but eating slower and taking breaks between bites can trick your brain into thinking you are actually full sooner.

Put food out of reach and layout the feast buffet-style separate from the dining table. If the food is not within arm’s reach it will require a move to get a second or third serving. This will likely stop you from grabbing a second helping.

Pregame isn’t just for a sporting event. Start with water before a big meal. Recent findings show that when people drink more water throughout the day they end up eating fewer total calories; a glass of water before each meal can also lead to weight loss.

Take a walk and enjoy the crisp air to combat the extra calories consumed. Invite a family member or friend and it’s sure to take the weight off the feeling of overindulging.

Save the bread for last and fill up on nutrient-rich foods first. Starting a meal with bread can amp up your appetite with a spike in blood sugar, so putting this at the end may save some calories.

Use a smaller plate if possible. Although you may be a guest at someone else’s party, try to use smaller plates for better portion control.

Add the spice if you can handle the heat. Think cayenne, peppers and hot sauce to add to the dishes you enjoy. The spice will be sure to kick-start your metabolic rate into gear which can lead to burning more calories.

Embrace the sights and smells of the holidays and pay attention to what you are consuming. Remember, if you are left feeling uncomfortably full after a holiday feast, it’s likely you didn’t enjoy the meal as much as you thought you did. Skip the excuses like why not, it’s a holiday, simply take the mindful eater approach to avoid excess holiday weight gain.