So often, magazines and websites hit you with post-holiday weight-loss plans, in response to the inevitable detrimental effects of all that roast beast, apple pie and eggnog. (Mmm, eggnog.)

We are as guilty as anyone, but this year we are switching things up a bit. That’s right, we are hitting you with a bunch of healthy eating tips before the festive times truly kick in.

Consider it a pre-emptive strike against the feasting to come. Give these tips a shot, and you’ll be happily skipping over the flood of articles sure to come this January. Note: Spaghetti and M&Ms not included.

Bright reds and yellows catch your eye and spike your appetite; that’s why fast food joints like McDonald’s and KFC use them so heavily. Let some other schmuck fall for Ronald and the Colonel’s evil schemes.

1. Dip your fork in your salad dressing
So you’ve decided to eat salads rather than burgers and fries. Terrific. But if you drench those salads with fatty dressing, you’ll defeat the entire purpose. (Fact: most chain restaurant salads have more calories than a cheeseburger.) So first, ask for your dressing on the side. Second, dip your fork in the dressing, then spear that salad-y goodness. That will significantly reduce your calories while still giving your lettuce some flavor. Bonus points if you go with a light salad dressing.

2. Beware reds and yellows
Just as you should eat with small blue plates and bowls because the color blue is a natural appetite suppressant, resist red and yellow food packaging and marketing. See, bright reds and yellows catch your eye and actually spike your appetite; that’s why fast food joints like McDonald’s and KFC use them so heavily. Steer clear by reminding yourself that you’re not actually hungry, the colors just make you think you are. Let some other schmuck fall for Ronald and the Colonel’s evil schemes.

3. Use purple sheets
As I’ve mentioned in previous columns, sleep is vital to your health. Six to eight hours  each night won’t just recharge your brain and help your muscles grow. It’ll also make you less hungry for bad, sugary foods during the day. And if you’re having trouble sleeping, buy purple sheets. The color purple helps you relax and pushes you toward dreamland better than brighter alternatives. Ever wonder how Prince stayed so slim? Exactly.

Prince-Purple-Rain
Never had a weight problem. Just sayin’.

4. Seek out vinegar
You might catch more flies with honey, but you’ll catch more women with vinegar. It contains lots of acetic acid, which indirectly produces enzymes that help break down fat. A tablespoon or two as the condiment of choice on your salads and sandwiches ought to do the trick. And while you’re at it, tell your sandwich artist to hold the mayo.

5. Snack smarter
We all love snacking when we’re watching TV. But rather than potato chips, ice cream or cheese fries, reach for a healthier mini-meal like sugarless gum or baby carrots. Or better yet, go with a few sticks of celery, which have negative calories, meaning it takes more calories to eat them than they actually contain. Sure, they won’t taste as good as junk food, but that’ll just help you focus more on the game, right?

6. Go easy on the booze
Beers and cocktails pack boatloads of calories—especially if you’re downing six or more in one night. You have one of two options for the next time: 1) Offer to be the designated driver and order ice water with lemon instead of whiskey and Cokes—not only will you be taking care of your body by eliminating about a thousand calories from your evening, but you’ll also be less word-slurry around the ladies, which they seem to like. Or 2) Drink beverages that are low-carb and low-cal, like Michelob ULTRA, a light beer with only 95 calories and less than 3 grams of carbs per a 12-ounce serving. That means you can drink like three more of these than most beers, without carbo-loading.