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Healthful, Tasty Options to Avoid Packing on the Pounds

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The holidays are usually full of fried foods, super sweet desserts and high-calorie drinks. And while you might only gain a few pounds during this time of year, this often contributes to long-term weight gain.

Carin Gorrell, nutrition director at SELF magazine, gave us a few healthy alternatives to foods like artichoke dip and eggnog. Try some of her tips and delicious recipes from SELF magazine that will lower the fat and help you avoid the holiday weight gain.

Appetizer

Skip: Hot artichoke dip -- "A two tablespoon serving is 100 calories, which isn't super high—but who eats only two tablespoons? Not to mention the chips you use for dunking."

Enjoy instead: Turkey meatballs -- "Turkey meatballs are a smart swap during the hors d'oeuvres hour. They're chock-full of lean protein, pre-portioned for built-in calorie-control and delicious. Bring along SELF's savory recipe which can be made up to 48 hours in advance and reheated."

Main Dish

Skip: Honey glazed ham -- "It's true that ham is a lean meat, but when glazed and cured, excess fat, sugar and sodium are added to the mix."

Enjoy instead: Sirloin -- "For the same number of calories, you can have a lean beef sirloin marinated in its own juices and seasoned with whatever spices you like, for a fraction of the sodium and zero sugar."

Side Dish

Skip: Mac 'n' Cheese -- "One cup of this popular comfort food can pack 530 calories and 15 grams of saturated fat – that's about what a full dinner should be, but it's just a side dish!"

Enjoy instead: Four-Cheese Pasta With Cauliflower -- "You'd never guess SELF's gooey, delicious version is 295 calories lighter than the usual dish. It's perfect for enjoying alone or serving to a crowd."

Dessert

Skip: Classic holiday trifle -- "Don't be swayed by their gorgeous layers of cake, cookies, jam, custard and whipped cream: These traditional desserts can be over-the-top with sugar and fat."

Enjoy instead: Cold "hot chocolate" trifle -- "For a festive dessert that's full of flavor for about half the calories, spoon up one of SELF's six sinless season-inspired trifle recipes. Chocoholics will love this rich, no-cook version."

Cocktails

Skip: Eggnog -- "Not surprisingly, this yuletide favorite is a 343-calorie bomb that's also high in saturated fat and cholesterol--and that's before you add the alcohol."

Enjoy instead: Ginger cocktail -- "Stir up SELF's Dark and Stormy cocktail made with ginger beer, dark rum, grated ginger and lime. One glass packs disease-fighting antioxidants and soothes aching muscles for just 164 fat-free calories. How's that for a holiday helper?"

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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