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How to Have a Skinnier Thanksgiving Dinner

You can save calories without sacrificing flavor just by tweaking your Thanksgiving dishes.


  • Step 1: Have the white meat Favor the white meat over dark to cut four calories and one fat gram per ounce.
  • TIP: Don’t ban dark meat altogether – it’s actually more nutritious, containing more iron, zinc, riboflavin, thiamine, and vitamins B6 and B12.
  • Step 2: Don't stuff it Cook your stuffing outside the bird; it's lower in fat that way.
  • Step 3: Make groovy gravy Remove the fat from the pan drippings before you make the gravy, either by using a fat separator or chilling them in the fridge and then skimming off the fat. You'll save a whopping 56 grams of fat per cup of gravy!
  • TIP: For a really low-cal gravy, skip the drippings and make it out of low-fat, low-sodium chicken broth mixed with a little flour dissolved in water.
  • Step 4: Whip potatoes with broth Use chicken broth instead of cream and butter to make mashed potatoes.
  • TIP: Consider making smashed potatoes by leaving on the nutrient-rich skin.
  • Step 5: Bake a guilt-free green bean casserole Make the traditional green bean casserole with 98% fat-free cream of mushroom soup and cut the calories by more than half, plus eliminate 14 grams of fat. Shave off another 250 calories by using only half the can of French-fried onions.
  • Step 6: Stir up some cranberry sauce Make your own cranberry sauce. Wash a bag of fresh cranberries, put them in a pot with a cup of water, let them cook until the desired texture, and then stir in sugar or sugar substitute sparingly, to taste.
  • Step 7: Slim down the yams Slim down the candied yams by cutting back on the added sugar or maple syrup — you probably won't even miss it — and nixing the mini marshmallows.
  • Step 8: Pick the pumpkin pie Stick to pumpkin pie. At around 240 calories a slice, it beats apple, mince, and pecan. Don’t eat the crust and you’ll save another 100 calories.
  • FACT: On average, Americans take in 4,500 calories and 229 grams of fat on Thanksgiving Day.

You Will Need

  • Low-fat
  • low-sodium chicken broth
  • 98% fat-free cream of mushroom soup
  • Fresh cranberries
  • Sugar or sugar substitute
  • A little restraint
  • A fat separator
  • Flour

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