This time of year, no one wants to count calories.  But, the sad reality is that most Americans gain an average of one pound every year between Thanksgiving and New Years.  While that may not sound like a lot, that one pound is typically not lost and can add up over time.  Those five pounds can make a difference in blood sugar and blood pressure.  Below are some simple tips to cut calories and fat, without sacrificing taste.

  1. Start lean. Buy skinless chicken or turkey breast or lean beef and pork.  Look for the words ‘round’ or loin when buying beef.  Remove skin from chicken or turkey before cooking.
  1. Substitute ground turkey breast (or 93/7) ground turkey or meatless crumbles (soy) for ground beef in tacos, spaghetti sauce or meatloaf.
  1. Saute’ foods in non-stick spray or broth in place of oil, butter or margarine.
  1. Make at least 2-3 meals per week meatless. Enjoy beans and lentils.
  1. Use 2% or skim milk cheese instead of full fat (whole milk) cheese.
  1. Switch to 1% or skim milk in place of 2% or whole milk.
  1. Limit stick butter.  Use reduced fat margarine, whipped butter or spray margarine when available.
  1. Replace sour cream with Greek plain yogurt in dips and salad dressings.
  1. Use reduced fat mayonnaise in place of full fat mayonnaise.
  1. Try salad dressing spritz in place of bottled dressings. Blend olive oil, balsamic vinegar and dijon mustard together for your own dressing.
  1. Reduce the fat by 1/3 in cookie and cake recipes.
  1. Substitute jarred baby prunes, mashed bananas, applesauce or plain yogurt for the fat in baked goods (such as quick breads)

13. Bake, broil, grill or boil foods instead of frying.

14.  Top a baked potato with salsa or plain Greek yogurt instead           of sour cream or butter.

15.  Share desserts instead of having a whole slice of something.

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