It’s officially the holiday season, and many of us are gearing up to attend gatherings with our friends, family, and coworkers. But the holidays can poses some serious barriers to our weight loss progress – mostly due to the high-sugar, high-fat foods we munch on during these parties.
According to a study by researchers at Cornell University’s Food and Brand Lab , Americans gain an average of 1.3 pounds during the one-week period between Christmas and New Years – and that weight can take more than five months to lose!
But there are ways to ring in some holiday cheer and enjoy some healthy snacks with your loved ones. Here are some of our favorite holiday snacks to serve at your next party.
We love crusty bread during the holidays – but we often pile that crostini with cheeses that have a high-fat content, cured meats with lots of sodium, and various dips, jams, and sauces that can add extra calories.
This veggie-packed alternative is quick and easy to make, and contains a great source of healthy fats from the avocados and olive oil. We recommend swapping out the white bread with one made from whole grains for a source of complex carbs, and to choose low-fat mozzarella cheese.
Skip the deep-fried spring rolls and other heavy snacks, and serve this light and refreshing appetizer instead! Shrimp is an awesome low-calorie food, with 4 pieces of shrimp clocking in at 24 calories and 4 grams of protein! 
Plus, these rolls are packed with broccoli slaw, green onions, and cilantro for additional nutrients. When picking out your peanut sauce, check the sodium and sugar content before you buy – or try this recipe, also from Cooking Light. Remember to watch your portions!
Craving something crispy for your holiday spread? Skip the potato chips and other deep-fried items and serve these crunchy artichoke bites instead. Fresh lemon juice, spices, and a drizzle of olive oil add big flavor without big calories. Go easy on the salt when seasoning these treats to lower the sodium content.
Holiday desserts are often the biggest culprits when it comes to weight gain, due to all the added refined sugar and fat from butter, cream, and shortening. But this delicious tart packs a rich, intense flavor without using as much of those empty-calorie ingredients.
This tart doesn’t use any flour or granulated sugar, instead relying on dark chocolate and apricot preserves for its sweetness. Remember to watch your portions – some of these ingredients are still high in calories, fats, and sugars.
Are you looking for a refreshing dessert without the added sugars? These baked pears are perfect for you and your guests. Topped with Medjool dates and pecans, this dessert is simple and naturally sweet. The “caramel” comes from a simple blend of puréed dates and water!
We recommend swapping out the coconut oil in this recipe for another healthy fat, like sunflower seed oil or almond oil.
The holiday season shouldn’t break your health progress, and these healthy party snacks can help you meet your goals. Remember to keep your portions moderate, watch your sugar intake, and to keep an eye on your blood sugar – this way, you can sustain your healthy habits all the way into the New Year.