Your Christmas Cookie Survival Guide
7 tips to enjoy your indulgence without overdoing it.
Don't beat yourself up over a cookie or two. Indulgence is fun for a reason, and a day or two of binging won't have you looking like Mrs. Claus.
"If there's something or a day where you really want to indulge, you might be willing to do a little extra activity to make up for it," says Sandra Carpenter, RD, Senior Program Manager for Weight Management and Nutrition at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.
You don't have to spend all winter on a treadmill, though. Use these strategies to satisfy your cravings without overdoing it.
"You can use apple sauce or pureed pumpkin in place of some of the oil, butter, or margarine in the recipe," she says. To add some filling fiber to the mix, swap half of the recipe's all-purpose flour for whole wheat, she says. "You don't have to swap it all, because some people won't like the nuttier flavor."
If you're not starting from scratch, check the packaging to save a calorie here and there—Betty Crocker's sugar cookie mix is 160 calories for 2 cookies, while Krusteaz's mix is only 140 calories for the same amount of finished product.
The best bet? Two of Pillsbury's "ready to bake" reindeer cookies are 120 calories—and they're pre-cut, so you won't have to worry about portion control.