It is so hard to maintain a diet and healthy eating during the holidays. Most of us decide to just go off of the diet for a while and enjoy ourselves. I agree with that. We should be able to enjoy the holidays and have fun, but still be able to keep the calorie count down. Here are a few tips you can follow to cut some of the extra calories you consume during the holidays.

What you will need:

* A little will power and thinking ahead.

* The holiday spirit

What you will need to do:

1. First, when you are planning on going to a holiday party, try to have a healthy snack or small meal before you go. This way, you are not as hungry and less prone to snacking on more than enough high calorie dips, cheeses, and candies at the party. Try eating some fruit too. It will really help to fill up your stomach so you are less inclined to try everything on the snack table.

2. When you are preparing a holiday meal at home, use lower fat and lower calorie substitutions in your recipes. You can use skim milk or lower calorie and lower fat butters. You can also substitute applesauce for oil in baking. See my article for how to substitute applesauce for oil in baked goods. This tip will really cut out the calories without cutting out the flavor.

3. Use smaller plates at your holiday dinner or party. That way, the plate will look full but you have cut the calories that are actually consumed. This is a really easy trick you can play on yourself. Most people use a large 12 inch plate, but if you just switch to a smaller size, you can trick your brain and stomach.

4. When you are using your leftover turkey, try mixing it with lettuce and veggies for a lean turkey salad instead of a sandwich loaded with mayo and cheese. It is really good this way.