The holidays are here.

If you’re anything like us, you look at this time of year through two completely different lenses. One is focused on the charms of the season: family reunions, gift sharing, faith and so much more. The other is focused squarely on getting to January 1st without ruining our diet plan.

Let’s take a moment here – well before it’s time to open the first can of yams – to share a few tips to enjoy a healthy Thins-giving!

The Main Dish:

1. Fish for a healthy alternative.

While a fish option is certainly non-traditional on Thanksgiving, it is a smart health choice that’s lower in calories than both turkey and ham.

2. Lighten up with light meat.

Dark meat may have a few more vitamins and nutrients than light meat, but it also has more calories as a general rule.

3. Go easy on the sauce. 

This is not a reference to Uncle Jim’s propensity to imbibe a little too much, it’s a reminder for you to avoid the creamy sauces and gravy.

The Side Dishes:

1. Quit the biscuit.

Choose a small, unbuttered piece of cornbread instead of dense, buttery biscuits.

2. Dress for success.

Enjoy the salad, but take note of the dressing options and choose wisely.

3. Steamy, not creamy.

Instead of preparing high-calorie green bean, broccoli and spinach casserole dishes, serve your fresh veggies steamed instead.

4. Banish the butter.

Try flavoring your mashed potatoes with herbs and a little garlic instead of whole milk and butter.

The Desserts:

1. Pecan pie is nuts!

It may be a tradition in many households – but it may be time to start a new tradition – make a pumpkin pie or sweet potato pie instead and satisfy your sweet tooth with less calories. And bypass the whipped cream to save another 75 calories or so.

2. A more a-peel-ing banana pudding.

Whip up a delicious banana pudding using low-calories dairy products and reduced-fat vanilla wafers and a serving can cost you less than 300 calories.

3. Extract sugar from your blueberry pie

Lower the amount of sugar in your recipe by flavoring the berries with vanilla extract instead of sugar.