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Celebrate the Holidays Without Gaining Weight

  • Mark Ferri

    Cut Calories from the Big Meal

    The typical American gobbles down a whopping 3,000 calories at a holiday feast. While you can't work that off—it would require walking about 30 miles—you can make a few small changes to shave 1,000 calories off your plate.

    Save 250 Calories

    Try not to take a huge helping of turkey (or ham)—4 ounces (the size of a deck of cards) is enough. Dark meat lovers should swap some for white meat. And if you must have a piece with skin, have just one.

  • Levi Brown

    Save 120 Calories

    Volunteer to make the mashed sweet potatoes and season them with cinnamon or ginger instead of topping with butter and marshmallows.

  • Levi Brown

    Save 190 Calories

    Pass on the roll basket (and get extra credit for that pat of butter you won't be eating).

  • Levi Brown

    Save 110 Calories

    Instead of smothering your plate with gravy, stick to about 3 tablespoons.

  • Levi Brown

    Save 80 Calories

    Cut the sugar in your favorite cake recipe by a third. You won't even taste the difference.

  • Levi Brown

    Save 75 Calories

    Fill up beforehand by drinking a big glass of water—studies show you'll eat less.

  • Frances Janisch

    Save 190 Calories

    Enjoy the pie, but forget the crust—that's where most of the calories come from.

  • Levi Brown

    Your Favorites Done Light

    We called in registered dietitian Susan Mitchell, Ph.D., a member of our Health Advisory Board, to suggest some healthy holiday makeovers.

    Holiday Pitfall

    "I can eat mounds of mashed potatoes made with extra butter and dripping in gravy."—chocolateknitter

    Healthier Makeover

    Prepare your mashed potatoes with evaporated skim milk for comparable creaminess. Sub in a light butter made with canola oil. This lowers saturated fat, but keeps them flavorful.