A study says the average American will consume 4,500 calories on Thanksgiving, with 3,000 calories coming from the turkey dinner alone. The other 1,500 calories can be blamed on hors d’oeuvres and boozy beverages.
Here are some food swaps that can help you save hundreds – or even thousands – of calories this year:
Swap dark meat for white meat
Dark turkey meat has nearly twice the fat of white turkey breast and about 40 percent more calories. Replacing three ounces of dark turkey meat.
Swap traditional mashed potatoes for a lighter recipe made with Greek yogurt
Mashed potatoes are a Thanksgiving staple, but traditional recipes include mounds of heavy cream and butter. Use two percent milk, nonfat plain Greek yogurt, and only three tablespoons of butter to save over a hundred calories.
Swap Greek yogurt for sour cream when making dip
Using Greek yogurt in place of sour cream will save 38 calories per serving.
Swap traditional gravy for low-sodium gravy mix
One fourth a cup of traditional gravy made from turkey drippings, which has 131 calories and 9g of fat, can easily be swapped for one four a cup of prepared low-sodium gravy mix. That will save you 106 calories and 8g of fat.
Swap classic sweet potato casserole for a baked sweet potato
Sweet potatoes covered in marshmallows are another Thanksgiving favorite, but trading that for a small baked sweet potato topped with a teaspoon of brown sugar and chopped pecans will save you a whopping 420 calories.
Swap green bean casserole for sauteed green beans
One cup of traditional green bean casserole made with cream of mushroom soup and topped with fried onions has 235 calories and 15g of fat. Instead, saute a cup of green beans in one teaspoon of butter.
Swap traditional cornbread stuffing for a lighter recipe made with fat-free buttermilk
One cup of cornbread stuffing made with whole milk and butter has 470 calories and 17g of fat. One cup of the same stuffing prepared with fat-free buttermilk and half the butter of the traditional recipe only has 319 calories and 11g of fat.
Swap canned cranberry sauce for cranberry relish
While one fourth a cup of canned cranberry sauce has 105 calories and 26g of sugar, one fourth a cup of raw cranberry relish has only 67 calories and 12g of sugar.
Swap pecan pie for pumpkin pie
Swapping one slice of pecan pie, which has 806 calories and 25g of fat, with one slice of pumpkin pie will save you a whopping 541 calories and 16g of fat.
Swap slice of apple pie à la mode with one baked apple topped with whipped cream
Warm apple pie topped with vanilla ice cream has about 448 calories and 19g of fat.
One baked apple made with one tablespoon brown sugar, one teaspoon of butter, cinnamon and a tablespoon of whipped cream.
Swap eggnog for apple cider
One cup of creamy eggnog has 223 calories and 11g of fat. Reach for a glass of apple cider, which only has 120 calories and zero fat per cup.
Swap a glass of wine with a wine spritzer
Replacing your five ounce glass of red or white wine, with three ounces of wine topped with two ounces of club soda will save you 60 calories.