Scaling back can help make you happy and healthy this season. These five expert tips for losing weight during the holidays include avoiding the food table at parties, being conscious of the calories in drinks and staying active despite the festive holiday times.

Eat Smart

Saving up calories for parties or holiday meals is a mistake, says dietitian Victoria Shanta Retelny, ​coauthor of Total Body Diet for Dummies. As she explains, “You’ll show up starving, head straight to the buffet table and start eating everything in sight!”

Mix It Up

“Focus on socializing, not food,” says the Cleveland Clinic. “Don’t stand around the food table at a party. Instead, get out and mingle. After all, conversation is calorie free! And offer to help clean up (since that burns even more calories). Be polite and be one of the last to eat — the food looks much less appealing after everyone has dug their paws in or if it’s been sitting out for a while.”

Think Before You Drink

Per the experts at NYC’s Hospital for Special Surgery: “An easy way to cut calories is to avoid drinks like regular soda, juice and alcoholic beverages. If you do decide to drink alcohol, choose spirits mixed with something without added sugar, such as seltzer or diet tonic water, rather than beer or wine.”

Stay Active

“Regular exercise is fundamental to maintaining a healthy weight, but motivation can be lacking when holiday indulgences beckon,” say the folks at the Mayo Clinic. To add some spice to your regular routine, “choose and incorporate fun aerobic activities into your holiday plans, such as ice skating or sledding with family.”

Snooze to Lose

According to the CDC: “Going out more and staying out later often means cutting back on sleep. Sleep loss can make it harder to manage your blood sugar, and when you’re sleep deprived, you’ll tend to eat more and prefer high-fat, high-sugar food. Aim for seven to eight hours per night to guard against mindless eating.”