UNITED STATES—Did you eat a bit too much during the Thanksgiving holiday? Trust me I know the feeling because I slightly pigged out during the Thanksgiving weekend. As a result, I’ve gone on a bit of a mini-diet, but I hate that word even more: diet.

When we fathom ourselves on being on a diet it only makes us feel restrained in what we should eat and what we should not eat. Well, America it’s time to change that perspective; throw out the word diet completely. When you think diet, I honestly think temporarily. That doesn’t help in changing your complete food lifestyle.

The holidays have been notorious for people packing on the pounds. On average people might take on anywhere from 5-10 pounds. Yikes, that’s a lot of weight for most of us. So what can be done to curb those temptations? Remember don’t pig out just because the food is there. So many of us do that, where we see a buffet of treats and feel the need to pack the plate with as much food as possible.

Stop doing it! Remember you can always come back for seconds if need be, do your best to focus on having a small appetizer or a few snacks to begin, don’t overindulge just because you can. This is commonplace tactics for many of those office parties. Trust me; every workplace has that one employee who just pigs out beyond pigging out. To be honest it’s quite rude and disturbing to watch at times. Nibble, nibble, nibble.

It’s also a good sign when you tempt yourself with those healthy snacks like fruits and veggies. Particularly, veggies are strong because it’s like a low calorie snack that can help one socialize without having a bellyache later in the day. I can’t recall a holiday party or family get together where fruits and veggies weren’t an option for those looking to not pack on the pounds. Take advantage of those items in addition to other food items that might be available on the table.

Another problem with fighting those temptations during the wintery months is the amount of fluids that we consume. Yes, I will admit I’m a consumer of soda/pop on occasion, but I am able to curb temptation. At most, I might have two 8-ounce glasses a day. Even that is a bit much, because we’re talking about 100 plus calories per glass, and close to 30-40 grams of sugar in each serving. Yep, that’s not good. Aim for water. Yes, I know water tastes horrible at times, but it’s the best thing for your body!

Why? Because more than 70 percent of your body is composed of water! In addition, drinking water before meals can help curb that appetite. Fluids we consume tend to have lots of calories, especially anything that isn’t composed of H20. So what can you do to heighten the flavor of that water?

Well try adding a few slices of lemon or lime to your water. Other options include, utilizing some of those veggies like a few slices of carrots or cucumbers to flavor that water. Yeah, I know what you’re thinking, carrots/cucumbers in my water, sound gross? Trust me it doesn’t, it gives a nice flavor and twist to that H20 that will have you doing it more often than ever.

Perhaps, the biggest obstacle when fighting the notion of putting yourself on a diet during the holiday season is exercise. Yes, it’s something we all grip about, but just do it. Find some way, somehow to carve out at least 30-45 minutes in your busy day to get some cardio or weight lifting.

I find it so much easier to work out when you aren’t focused on how long you’re planning to exercise or how long you have been exercising. So I utilize a bit of technology to watch some of my favorite TV shows or movies during my workout. Before you know it, I’ve put in an hour or more and burned over 300-600 calories depending on the intensity of the workout.

The biggest advice I can give when doing your best to prevent from packing on the pounds, don’t consider it a diet, consider it a way to curb the unhealthy snacks that are always tempting us no matter where we go. It’s almost impossible to avoid bad food items at all times, but remember the mind is more powerful than you think at times.