One of the most difficult times of the year for those trying to lose weight is the holiday season. While the holidays are a time to get together with family, friends and coworkers, it’s also a time for lots of eating and drinking. Every party and gathering is an excuse to take a holiday from your healthy eating habits. A cookie here, a chocolate there, washed down with some egg nog, and before you know it your pants are too tight.

It’s no wonder that the average American gains and average of at least 9 pounds between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. The good news is that with a little foresight, those holiday pounds can be easily avoided while still enjoying the holiday season.

Baked Turkey

Choose a plain bird over a self-basting bird, bake un-stuffed, leave the skin on while roasting and remove from the oven when internal temperature reaches 170 degrees in the breast.


Use a gravy cup or refrigerate the pan juices (to harden the fat) and skim the fat off before making gravy. Save around 656 grams of fat per cup!

Candied yams

Leave out the margarine and marshmallows. Sweeten with fruit juice, such as apple and flavor with cinnamon.

Green bean casserole

Cook fresh green beans with chunks of potatoes instead of cream soup. Top with almonds instead of fried onion rings.

Mashed potatoes

Use skim milk, roasted garlic, and a little parmesan cheese instead of whole milk and butter.


Serve smaller pieces or omit it altogether. Always opt for the whole wheat varieties (more fiber!).

The plate method

Imagine your plate divided into thirds. Use the first third to fan out white meat turkey, no skin. Use the second third for salad and low-fat vegetables. Finally, the last third is for all the starches (sweet potatoes, stuffing, and cranberry sauce).

Tanya Zuckerbrot MS, RD, is a nationally known registered dietitian based in New York and the creator of a proprietary high-fiber nutrition program for weight loss, wellness and for treating various medical conditions. Tanya authored the bestselling weight loss book The F-Factor Diet, and she is the first dietitian with a national line of high-fiber foods, which are sold under the F-Factor name. Become a fan of Tanya on Facebook, follow her on Twitter and LinkedIn, and visit her website Ffactor.com.