With Labor Day weekend coming up, I’m sure there are lots of BBQ’s and parties in your future! It’s hard to stay on track and maintain healthy habits during the holiday. Here are some tips on how to enjoy the weekend without over doing it:
1. Have a Game Plan: Looking ahead to the party and setting limits is a great way to be ready and prepared. You can still enjoy the yummy food, but also keep your healthy goals in mind. Setting limits is a great way to prepare yourself for healthy eating. If you say you’re only going back to the food table once then stick to it!
2. Fill up on veggies: Stay away from the chips, crackers, and bread. Instead, eat the healthier stuff first like the veggie tray and fill up on foods that take longer to digest and have fewer calories. If you’re excited about that dip, try using some veggies instead of chips or crackers to scoop.
3. Be mindful of portions: It can be difficult to control how much food you eat when you’re surrounded by it, so grab a small plate if one’s available. It’s a proven fact that those who choose smaller plates than average eat up to 50 percent less calories, and don’t even notice the difference.
4. Pick your drinks wisely: Of course you probably want to enjoy some adult beverages, but make sure to hydrate too. With the hot weather, it is easier to drink faster, but remember to quench some of your thirst with water. You can also quickly consume a lot of useless calories with those party drinks. So opt for low or no-calorie beverages to help cut down on calories.
5. Bring your own healthy items: Bringing an item or two that you know are on the healthier side guarantees you’ll have some healthy options to eat. Or make a healthy desert so you won’t feel guilty but still feel like you’re getting a treat. You could do the same thing when it comes to drinks. You could bring your own light beer or healthier mixers.
6. Remake a classic recipe into a healthier version: you could update a version of salad, appetizer or desert. It is actually much simpler than you might think. For example, you could research recipes for Broccoli Slaw and find a solution to make a healthy alternative to the classic cole slaw. Or use greek yogurt instead of sour cream for your dips. The options are endless.
7. Gorge On Salads: I’m not talking about potato salad here. Fresh green salads are a great starter option for your BBQ to help get you full before the big feast. Try a Greek salad or something more exotic. Don’t forget you can also make a fruit salad as well.
8. Get moving: If you plan on indulging, be sure to plan more physical activities so you can balance the amount of calories you eat with number of calories you burn off. Organize a game of wiffle ball, kick ball or SPUD at the party. Try riding your bike or walking to your labor day destination or get in a workout before the party. Look into local races such as a 5K. Many towns and organizations host runs on Holidays.
Keep these tips in mind and feel ready to navigate your parties this weekend. Of course you should enjoy your BBQ and indulge a little, but you don’t want to go completely overboard.