With the festive season fast approaching, savory meals and delectable treats are going to feature a lot in your menu. You’re more likely to consume more calories and increase your body fat during this period of merrymaking than any other time of year.

Check out our handy tips for losing weight during the festive season and the New Year without sacrificing your favorite meals.

Serve up a small portion

Because it’s the festive season, there’s always that temptation to binge eat or indulge in more than your usual share of food. That shouldn’t be the case. Serve yourself smaller food portions and save more calories. Eating less food at a time won’t deprive you. Research shows that you will still feel satisfied just like someone who indulges in larger portions of foods.

Use a smaller plate

A study by Consumer Research shows people tend to eat 30% fewer calories when they serve their favorite meals or treats on smaller plates than the bigger dinner plates. The reason is a plate tricks your mind to think you’re consuming more food.  By serving on a salad plate, you will reduce your calorie intake, which could lead to a slimmer waistline.

Eat when hungry

Instead of saving calories for dinner, eat when your belly feels empty. Your body isn’t a bank account. Banking calories or eating deficit calories won’t result in eventual weight loss. To beat hunger pangs, opt for a protein-rich snack to beat hunger pangs between meals.

Don’t help yourself twice

When you’re eating your favorite meal, you might be tempted to overindulge by going for a second or even a third round. Stick to a single helping. Save any leftover for a repeat meal the next day. This way, you’ll be able to stagger calories and prolong the gratification that comes with eating your favorite food.

Weigh yourself daily

Every morning, step on the scale and see how much you weigh, including during the festive season. Research shows that people who weigh themselves daily stand a better chance of slimming down than those who use the scale from time to time.

Chew food properly

When eating, ensure you chew food slowly and thoroughly. Research also shows that people who chew food 40 times consume 12 percent fewer calories than those who chew 15 times or so. Chewing slows your rate of consumption, and at the same time, lets you enjoy the flavor of food.

Leave the buffet table

Don’t linger at the dinner table longer than it’s necessary. You’ll find yourself reaching out for more food and gorging yourself. The worst part is you won’t even be conscious of how much you’re eating and whether it’s healthy or not.

Drink wisely

Many of us indulge in stiff or sweet drinks during the holidays. Don’t follow suit. Instead of toasting to sugary cocktails during the festive season, go for wine spritzers or any mixed drink with low calories. By mixing your drink with water, you not only get hydrated but slash the calories that you consume by half.

Exercise daily

Continue with your routine exercises. If, for whatever reason, you’re unable to hit the gym, jog early in the morning, take long evening walks or even go ice skating. Just 10 minutes of exercise is enough to burn calories all day.