Instead of the jellied canned stuff, make your own with fresh or frozen cranberries, that way you can control the sugar and pump up the amount of whole berries -- which are bursting with heart-healthy compounds called anthocyanins.
Add chopped apples and omega 3-rich walnuts.
Since a serving of stuffing is equivalent to eating a roll (or two), it's best to bypass the bread basket. Save the calories so you can enjoy a glass of wine with dinner.
If you can't do without, serve whole-wheat rolls instead of fatty biscuits. Spread with cinnamon-spiked apple butter instead of butter.
With about half the calories and a lot less fat, pumpkin pie is a far better choice than pecan. Eat the pie without the crust and save 120 calories. Skip the whipped cream or add just a dollop of reduced-fat topping.
Better yet, have the dessert you really want, just cut yourself half a slice.
Bottom line, it's important that you enjoy the celebration. Don't be too hard on yourself. One day won't totally derail your diet.
Janet Helm, MS, RD, is a registered dietitian and nutrition/culinary consultant in Chicago.