We assembled a task force of staff from our Birmingham offices, which include sister brands Southern Living, Coastal Living, MyRecipes, and Oxmoor House, to try the Cooking Light Diet for 3 months last fall (October-December 2015) and blog about it. Here’s what they had to say.

I am a holiday buff. On a scale of one (not festive) to 10 (über festive), I am a solid 15 1/2.

In past years, my college self–starved for meals that weren't cooked in a microwave–took a week off at Thanksgiving to head to the mountains and a grandmother who cooks a plethora of mouthwatering Thanksgiving dishes, an aunt who has long mastered the art of rich Armenian food, and a mother who makes all the pie a girl could want.

There was one year, when I was on Weight Watchers, that I went through Thanksgiving without gaining weight. Needless to say, it was a much less enjoyable holiday for a girl whose fondest memories are food-based.

Being a holiday buff, I thoroughly believe in celebrating a holiday to its fullest potential. Sometimes, even, celebrating this holiday more than once. Last year, I had Thanksgiving dinner at school, Thanksgiving dinner with friends, and Thanksgiving dinner with my family. My goodness, that's a lot of pie. Not to mention the Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake at Cheesecake Factory, Pumpkin Spice Oreos, or Krispy Kreme Pumpkin Spice Cake donuts. It's a battle.

In the past, celebrating a holiday to its fullest meant gorging on Thanksgiving dinner and then going for a guilt-filled run the next day. And, of course, gorging on leftovers soon after. Throw in a few glasses of wine, and you're pretty close to understanding how I spend my late November days. Granted, there is a ton of laughing, family photos, cold fall walks, and card games in between–but food is a huge part of it.

Being on the Cooking Light Diet this year, I realize that this may not be the best way to spend Thanksgiving – nor do I want it to be. I think, in this way, mastering Turkey Day is less about limiting yourself, and more about being aware of what you're eating. Does this holiday only come once a year? Yes. Do you deserve an one awesome day with great family and great food? Absolutely. For me, this translates into less helpings. It translates into a bite of this, and a bite of that. It means trying every kind of pie – but knowing you can't have a slice of each.

Plus, this means I'll be able to cut back on the guilt of my post-Thanksgiving run.


If you’d like to know more about the Cooking Light Diet, visit, or email us at We’d love to hear from you! Have a great week.

*Members following the Cooking Light Diet, on average, lose more than half a pound per week.More Cooking Light Success Stories: