7 Labor Day
Be among the last of the picnickers to begin eating, so when it's time to jump back in the lake or play volleyball, you'll have finished only one plateful.
8 Back to School
Buy your kids' snacks in preportioned bags and store them out of sight to resist reaching for them. Distance makes a difference: In one study, when women had to walk 6 feet for a chocolate kiss, they ate five fewer of them than when the bowl was on their desk.
16 Birthday Party
Pop a strong breath strip in your mouth when you arrive to stave off a taste for nibble foods. Spare yourself at least 100 calories by opting for a slice from the middle of the sheet cake rather than an overly frosted (and undoubtedly overly sweet) end piece.
Give trinkets as treats, and you won't be haunted by chocolate. The kids won't mind as much as you may think. When Yale researchers allowed 3- to 14-year-old trick-or-treaters to choose between a piece of candy and a small toy such as a pencil or ball, half took the toy. But if Halloween isn't the same without candy, handing out fun-size packs of Raisinets (67 calories) or rolls of Smarties (25 calories) are your best bets. Don't buy the assorted packages of candy because you'll be tempted to try one of every kind.
Don't eat the veggies! If the green beans are buried under that creamy mushroom sauce and the sweet potatoes are oozing with glaze or marshmallows, fill half your plate with skinless turkey breast, top it with cranberries (an antioxidant powerhouse), and take mini portions of other items you love and get only once a year, suggests New York City culinary consultant Jackie Newgent, RD. Total calories for 6 ounces of turkey; 2 tablespoons each of cranberry sauce, stuffing, and mashed potatoes; and a sliver of corn bread: 471.
27 Black Friday
As you kick off the holiday shopping season, skip the high-cal, high-fat mall snacks. Instead, order a kid's meal with fruit rather than fries. You'll get a better portion size for an adult, plus you can use the toy as a stocking stuffer.
19 Holiday Parties
Don't put more than two foods on your plate at one time. "The variety of foods at holiday parties prompts you to overeat; this plan forces you to decide early on what you most want to try," says Wansink. "Chances are, you'll be satisfied after just one refill."
Don't waste 300 or 400 calories nibbling on food while you're cooking. Before you prepare the meal, make yourself an 80-calorie plate of crudités—four whole wheat crackers; one large celery rib, sliced; five baby carrots; and a teaspoon of ranch dressing. For sipping, fill your wine glass with sparkling water and a slice of lime.
30 New Year's Eve
Ring in the New Year with champagne. Each 90-calorie glass is a diet bargain compared with a margarita (327 calories) or any other sugar-filled mixed drink.