Between the cookies and the candy, it’s easy to see why we gain weight this time of year. In fact, the average person gains between one and five pounds during the holidays. But healthy lifestyle expert Caryn Sullivan has a few swaps to save you calories and your waistline.

“Eggnog is such a holiday tradition this season so I understand why people love it,” Sullivan said. 

But an eight-ounce cup of it can deliver 344 calories.

“Why not create your own family holiday traditional drink like a golden milk?” Sullivan suggests.

Golden milk is made by combining almond milk with honey or dates, turmeric and other spices, such as those found in premade blends.

“There are so many benefits of turmeric,” Sullivan explained. “There’s a ton of anti-inflammatory properties and many diseases and illnesses come when our body has inflammation.”

For an appetizer, swap out cheese and crackers for veggies and hummus.

“You’re just as satisfied,” Sullivan said. “In fact, I’d almost argue that you’re more satisfied because you’re filling up it tastes good and then you’re on to the bigger meal.”

“For the main course, swap out mashed potatoes for mashed cauliflower.

“Utilizing cauliflower instead of potatoes gives you so many more nutrients that are going to be filling for your body,” Sullivan explained.

Cauliflower can also be used as rice or added to smoothies for an extra boost of nutrients.

“This holiday season people completely overindulge in sweet treats,” Sullivan said.

One way to get your fix while not going overboard is by swapping out brownies or chocolate chip cookies with dark chocolate, which is full of antioxidants.

“It’s not processed and it still gives you that chocolaty flavor and a little bit of sweetness that will hopefully subside the cravings,” Sullivan explained.

A few more healthy holiday swaps for baking: Swap out oil with applesauce, mashed banana, or Greek yogurt. Also, try subbing black beans in place of flour in brownies.

For more healthy advice from Sullivan, visit