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Healthy Holiday Food and Diet Tips from WebMD

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6. Shave Calories With Simple Swaps

Create healthier versions of your holiday favorites by shaving calories wherever you can.

“Simple swaps of lower-fat ingredients are easy ways to save calories — and no one will even notice the difference” says Cheryl Forberg, RD.

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Use chicken stock, fat-free yogurt, light cream cheese, and low-fat milk in place of high-fat ingredients. Substitute non-fat yogurt or applesauce for oil in baked goods.

7. Roast or Grill for Rich Flavor With Fewer Calories

Roasting or grilling meat, seafood, vegetables, and potatoes, is a simple, low-calorie cooking style that brings out the natural sweetness and flavor in foods.

Roasted sweet potatoes with a sprinkle of cinnamon sugar and a spritz of butter spray are delicious substitutes for the traditional calorie-laden casserole.

Grilled pork chops served with a mango salsa are great to replace pork chops slathered in mushroom cream.

8. Serve Healthier Desserts

For dessert, try chocolate-dipped strawberries for a colorful and delicious finale.

If you want to offer pie, choose the healthier pumpkin pie. Make it with non-fat evaporated milk. Top it with fat-free whipped topping.

9. Spritz Your Drinks

Eggnog and other holiday beverages can add a huge number of calories. Offer your guests plenty of low-cal beverages such as diet soda, sparkling water, or a low-calorie punch.

Alcohol releases inhibitions and can increase hunger. That’s a combination that can lead to eating more than you planned. So do yourself and guests a favor: Offer simple alcohol choices such as wine and beer without the heavy cocktail mixers. And make sure you have mocktails or other no-alcohol options for those who don’t drink.

10. Plan and Scan to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain

“In anticipation that you will be eating and drinking more than usual, try to trim your calories and make sure you fit in fitness everyday so you can enjoy a ‘controlled’ feast without the guilt” says Joan Salge Blake, MS, RD, clinical assistant professor at Boston University.

“Scan the buffet and fill your plate with foods that are simply prepared, without sauces or fried, sit down and take your time to taste and savor every bite,” she says. Resist the urge to go back for more by waiting at least 20 minutes for your brain to register that you are comfortably full. If you are still hungry, eat more vegetables and drink water.