Eating Light Tip #1: Start with Soup

According to a study in the journal Appetite, people who sipped soup before lunch ate 20 percent less during a meal than those who didn’t. But stick with veggie soup recipes, says Ellie Krieger, R.D., host of the Food Network’s Healthy Appetite. “Cream-based bisque or chowder often has 250 calories or more per cup.”

Eating Light Tip #2: Say (Light!) Cheese

Soft goat cheese, feta cheese and part-skim mozzarella cheese have about 76 calories and 6 grams of fat or less per ounce—up to 26 percent less than the amount in cheddar and blue cheeses. Brie weighs in at 95 calories and 8 grams of fat.

Eating Light Tip #3: Nix the Nog

Made with eggs, heavy cream, and rum, nog weighs in at 343 calories and 19 grams of fat per cup. “Have hot chocolate instead for less than half the calories—plus antioxidants and calcium,” says Krieger. Can’t imagine the holidays without eggnog? Try a low-fat version, such as Silk Nog. Or satisfy your craving with this eggnog dessert recipe.

Eating Light Tip #4: Cut Down on Prep Time

“Roasting is one of the easiest—and healthiest—ways to prepare a side dish,” says Cory Vicens, culinary director of “It brings out natural flavors, so you won’t need butter, sugary glaze, or cream sauce.” Toss any veggie in a little olive oil, salt, and pepper, and then bake at 375°F for 20 to 40 minutes, or until tender. Or try these 8-minute veggie recipes.

Eating Light Tip #5: Sip Low Calorie Cocktails

Mixed drinks, like vodka tonics (175 calories), are higher in calories than wine

(120 calories), light beer (103 calories), and Champagne (91 calories). If you’re craving a cocktail, opt for club soda in place of tonic water to save 80 calories. But wait until you’re seated to start sipping. Alcoholic drinks stimulate your appetite,” says Sharon Richter, R.D., a nutritionist in New York City.

Shape Magazine