As Thanksgiving and the holidays inch closer, many of us are beginning to crave the time off work, seeing family members we don’t see too often, and, perhaps most importantly, our favorite holiday classics lining the dinner table.

Amidst all of this excitement, many of us forget how we feel the afternoon after the celebration has concluded and all of the food has been eaten; when our stomachs have doubled in size after eating that third plate of mashed potatoes and turkey.

Don’t spend hours trying to rid yourself of that bloated feeling this holiday season. Prevent yourself from overeating so you can feel satisfied instead of feeling like your stomach may explode. Here are the best ways to avoid overeating:

Answer this: “Could I eat an entire apple right now?”

This may seem like a silly exercise, but before you stand up for that second plate of food or go to walk in the kitchen before bedtime, ask yourself if you are hungry enough to eat a whole apple. If your honest answer is no, it’s a sign that you are eating out of boredom rather than hunger.

Avoid eating “a little bit of everything.”

Parties are great because they offer up a variety of food to try in smaller portions. The only problem is that when you fill up on hors d’oeuvres, you actually end up eating more than you would in a regular meal. If possible, avoid these appetizers – or at least eat a healthy snack before you come so you aren’t as hungry.

Don’t skip a meal.

You may think the best way to enjoy your holiday meal is to save room by skipping breakfast and lunch the day of. This is actually the worst thing you can do. Nutritionist Rahaf Al Bochi, RD, LD says that people tend to make unhealthier food choices when they are starving and end up overeating.

Drink plenty of water.

During and in-between meals, be sure to drink water and stay hydrated. Sometimes the desire to eat comes from your body being thirsty rather than hungry.