From New Year’s Day brunch through New Year’s Eve parties, here’s a year’s worth of strategies to help you win the battle of the bulge.

You’re cruising along on your new diet when you run up against the year’s first really big test of your will—invitations to parties that will surely feature irresistible puff pastry hors d’oeuvres, flowing cocktails, and a lavish dessert selection. The challenge will make bypassing the supermarket bakery look like a cakewalk.

What’s for certain: If you make it past this party, there will be another on its heels. There are national holidays, birthday parties, and scores of other impromptu celebrations—a promotion, a good report card, even making a deadline—coming this year. “Because we don’t have established patterns of eating in these circumstances, every occasion offers different temptations,” says Brian Wansink, PhD, a Cornell University food psychologist who has studied guests’ eating patterns at Super Bowl parties, office celebrations, and more. “You need to go into the event with a strategy.

“And what might that party diet plan be? Prevention called upon leading experts for advice on how to handle 24 of the most common diet-busting social situations that crop up throughout the year. Consider this your diet datebook.

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