1. Avoid the Egg Nog
Let’s not kid ourselves; it’s hard to turn down a creamy rummy egg nog in a festive mug. But it’s even harder to melt away those noggy pounds come January, when you’re trying to squeeze into that perfect New Year’s party outfit. Next holiday gathering, mix yourself a vanilla vodka and skim milk, so you can skip that caloric punch without missing those festive toasts.

2. Portion Control
Holiday dinners are a time of favorites, and that doesn’t mean you can’t try Mom’s famous marshmallow yams or Dad’s Butterball turkey — yum! — It just means you shouldn’t be going back for seconds or thirds. Fill up your plate with leafy veggies and lean meat to fill you up, then wait a half hour. And if you still can’t miss a piece of Aunt Margie’s pecan pie, make it a half-slice.

3. Hate Yourself
You’re a real piece of shit. It’s obvious when you’re wallowing alone in your dumpy studio apartment, but it’s even more obvious when you’re with your perfect fucking family, as they each take turns around the table bragging about the year’s harvest of new jobs and houses and babies. You’re the only cousin left who’s not married or engaged, and it’s for a reason. It’s because you’re an undesirable halfwit with a body that looks more like the yammy, noggy chunks in your geriatric uncle’s carpal-tunnel mashed potatoes than a human man. You spell your first name with a “K” like a middle school show-off, and you’re too spineless to correct your own family members who’ve been spelling it wrong with an “H” for years now. Hate yourself enough, and maybe that will burn away your billowing rolls of side fat, because we both know you aren’t going to turn down that mammoth slice of goopy cholesterol pie. You’re gonna get it a la mode, you long-fingered bastard.

4. Drink More Water
Between the alcohol and the heavy sweaters, winter seems destined to dehydrate you! Drink at least 8 oz. of water every 6 hours. If you’re struggling to keep up, try zesting it up with Crystal Light Water Enhancers (Strawberry-Kiwi is my fave!).

5. Prove Your Sister Wrong
Strawberry-Kiwi is her fave, you unoriginal hack. It doesn’t matter if you scored higher on the SATs than your sister Janet a decade ago — her toddler has accomplished more than you. She said it in front of everyone five Christmases ago that you had a better chance of becoming the King of Prussia than getting married, and no matter how many times she’s apologized and said she was joking, you know the truth. No six-pack (like you could ever get that, ha!) or trendy haircut (like you could pull that off, ha!), will fill in the desiccated shell you call a self. Look at Uncle Chuck. He may be big as a fucking sea lion, but he’s a star physicist at MIT who’s traveled to every continent and can have the room in stitches with his perfect celebrity impressions. You can’t pull that shit off. But maybe, just maybe, if you lose that very adult fat you call “baby fat,” they’ll at least let you start sitting at the adult table again, instead of being marooned every year with the teenage second cousins at the folding table in the living room. Forget it. Just go drown yourself.

6. Try Swimming!
Between the long strokes, the fast kicks, and the high-intensity bursts, swimming works out your whole body while minimizing pressure on sensitive joints. Make sure you find a well-heated pool, and don’t forget the towel, or you may end up with an icicle hair-do!

7. Imagine Everyone Who Ever Wronged You
You can paddle those flabby arms as much as you want, but you’re not going anywhere in life. Your grade school crush Jenny who you just bumped into at the supermarket where you first got fired knew it. Your 6th-grade teacher Gretchen who you then bumped into at the gas station where you got fired next knew it. Your high school envy Kurt who dated Jenny and then pantsed you at Winter Ball, revealing your shriveled member in front of the chaperones — they all knew it. Dr. David, who chuckled when you asked if hair was supposed to go so far up your penis shaft, knew it. Yeah, that’s right — it’s shriveled and covered in hair. You’re a slave to your destitute past, and it doesn’t matter how much you splash around, there’s a lifetime of pathetic dominoes you can’t outswim.

8. Replace the Sugary Snacks
It’s a tough habit to kick, but sugary treats between meals are a trap. Replace them with a fistful of almonds or a spoonful of cashew butter! You’ll thank yourself come January!

9. Ha!
January, ha! Like there’s some magic lever that could reset your life. Just because the arbitrary calendar year is different (because of the Earth’s rotation around the Sun — why would that make a difference in your speck of a life??), that doesn’t give you a blank slate. If anything, it’s a cruel reminder of everything you didn’t accomplish again. You’re still the only single cousin. You’re still pouring what little’s left in your bank account into Eat 24’s delivery fees instead of learning how to cook for your goddamn self since Lindsay ditched you for her ginormous coworker Evan. The man is simply too big. You’re still not growing a beard that looks like it was grown by a man and not grafted from the mons pubis of a mid-pubescent tween. You’re still not visiting your grandmother enough even though she’s just 2 hours north. You’re still hanging out with those cocaine-addled dogs you call friends who love seeing you bomb at the open mic at Jumbo’s Clown Room. And you still have that goddamn paunch that will never go away no matter how much egg nog you don’t drink, or laps you don’t swim, or how many minutes you peddled an elliptical last week to convince yourself that you can eat a few more packs of child’s fruit snacks every day at work. Give! Up!

10. Look Around
But on the other hand… Take a look around the room. Look at these amazing people you get to surround yourself with. If you would stop comparing yourself to them, and start celebrating them for who they are, wouldn’t that make you feel good? Isn’t that what the holidays are about? Hell… isn’t that what life is all about?

No. Fuck that, flabby boy. Look at the mental gymnastics you have to do just to make your life look like anything but a colossal fucking trainwreck. You suck.

12. Why bother?
Why bother?

13. Why

14. WHY?
Why why why why why!??

15. Fiber!
Dietary fiber is a great way to stay full longer for no extra carbs! Good luck!