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Cutting Thanksgiving Day Calories in Half


Below you'll find some great ways to cut your Thanksgiving Day calories in half.

1. Roast some chestnuts over an open fire. At only 70 calories and less than 1 gram of fat per ounce, chestnuts are wickedly low in fat. Compare that to 169 calories and almost 15 grams of fat for the same amount of mixed nuts.

2. Skip the cheese and crackers. One ounce of brie cheese on three crackers hauls in over 150 calories and almost 10 grams of fat. That's more than a roll with butter! Save your calories for the good stuff, like stuffing or dessert. If hors d'oeuvres are a must, go with raw vegetables and a low-fat dip.

3. Undress the turkey. Take the skin off to strip away almost half the fat and a chunk of calories. Six ounces of the bird with the fatty overcoat provide 357 calories and almost 17 grams of fat. Cutback to only four ounces skinless, and you're down to less than 195 calories and 6 grams of fat. Bonus tip: Eat less turkey; you'll use less gravy.

4. Mix less fat into the stuffing and scoop less onto your plate. For every tablespoon of butter you remove from grandma's recipe, you can eliminate 108 calories and 12 grams of fat. Substitute chopped apples and pears for a healthy, moist, sweet flavor. (She'll never know!)

5. Use whipped butter, or better yet, light margarine or I Can't Believe It's Butter Spray (my personal favorite). You can shave about one-third of the calories and fat grams by using a tablespoon of whipped butter rather than the same amount of the stick variety. Since it is "whipped" with air it spreads more easily, so you may even be able to get by with less. Light margarine has only 50 calories per tablespoon. Lastly you can spray on a few sprays of I Can't Believe It's Not Butter spray which has no calories.

6. Whip sweet potatoes with apple or orange juice instead of butter. This traditional potato dish is all the sweeter without those added calories.

7. Serve the vegetables naked. Veggies don't need a heavy, fat-laden, cheese sauce overcoat.

8. Make pumpkin pie lighter. Use egg whites instead of eggs. (Two egg whites can be substituted for a whole egg, a savings of 34 calories; 5 grams of fat, and all the cholesterol.) Use evaporated skim milk rather than whole milk and save 120 calories and 16 grams of fat per cup.

9. Use less whipped cream on top of the pie. Use 1/4 cup of the white fluff instead of 1/2 cup to get the job done.

10. Pick a light lightener. Cool down your coffee with milk instead of cream and save 36 calories and 4.5 grams of fat, ounce for ounce.