Committing to a goal in advance is always helpful. Most people tend to overeat on Thanksgiving because there is so much in front of us, everything tastes good, and we are distracted by family and friends so we don’t even notice how much we’ve eaten. So today, decide in advance how you will reduce your caloric intake on Thanksgiving.

Here are some ideas. You don’t have to do them all, pick one or two that work for you. If you make a commitment to yourself in advance, you’re more likely to follow through on Turkey Day!

  • Only have one desert. (Or if there are multiple and you can’t decide which to have, have three small pieces of each that together will equal the size of one piece.)
  • Pick one food you won’t eat. Can you pass on the bread, the stuffing, the gravy, the turkey, or the potatoes? Don’t pass on the veggies. If you’re really good and know you have willpower pass on the dessert.
  • Don’t drink anything but water on Thanksgiving.
  • Don’t have seconds of anything.
  • Look up calories. Do you not care whether you have white meat or dark meat? White has less so pick the white. Do you not have a preference between pecan pie and another? Generally pecan pie has the most calories. Look up the calories in all your Thanksgiving food and see what you’d be willing to substitute.
  • Use a small plate. Ask your host if you can use a salad plate. It will make less seem like more.

You’ll know what you can commit you. Make a pact with yourself and stick with it.