Planning to diet after the holidays? As the old saying goes, there's no time but the present, and while folks may be worried they'll overindulge during the season, a few easy recipe swaps can go a long way to making holiday menu staples more waist-friendly.
To help adapt three menu staples, Us Weekly asked celebrity trainer Harley Pasternak -- who has whipped Amanda Seyfried, Hilary Duff and Lady Gaga into shape -- to give Us the skinny on quick and easy food swaps. Read on for Pasternak's tips, and check out the video above for more of his healthy holiday eating suggestions.
Menu Staple: Macaroni and Cheese
Harley's Healthy Version: First, start with a whole grain pasta with skim milk and add the powder from boxed mac and cheese. "It's actually fat free and the main ingredient is whey protein," says Pasternak. Our expert's serving suggestion: Bake the pasta and cut it into squares.
Menu Staple: Brussels Sprouts
Harley's Healthy Version: To cut down on the fat content of this dish, often served with bacon, Pasternak tells Us he prefers to use light olive oil and seasonings when roasting or grilling the veggies. "You can even put them in a paper bag and steam them. It's a great way to go and very healthy!" says our expert.
Menu Staple: Apple Pie
Harley's Healthy Version: This holiday staple is loaded with sugar, but Pasternak tells Us a few simple steps will allow you to indulge in this dessert guilt-free. "Make sure that you cut back on the amount of oils you use, and use different kinds of apples -- they bring out different kinds of sweetness and sour notes," Pasternak explains, adding that using half brown sugar and half sweetener will make a huge difference in the dish's final sugar count.
For more from Pasternak, check out his new transformational daytime series, The Revolution, airing this January on ABC.
WIN IT! To help your family eat healthy this season, Us is gifting one lucky reader with a $100 FreshDirect.com gift card. To enter, email your name, address, daytime phone number and age (must be over 21) to Giveaways@usmagazine.com. You must put 'Holiday Menu Essentials' in the subject line of your email in order to be eligible. All entries must be received by 11:59 p.m. (EST) on Sunday, December 4. Click here for official rules.