Everyone knows that Fourth of July cookouts are filled with delicious yummy treats like cupcakes, alcohol, greasy burgers, hotdogs, pulled bbq, fried chicken and basically any other American food you can think of. That being said, one could imagine how easy it would be to wreck that beach body you’ve worked so hard for if you’re not careful.The holidays are for celebrating and are meant to be enjoyed, but you don’t have to sacrifice your health or beach body every time you attend a cookout. Luckily, it’s still possible to enjoy your Fourth of July and still feel/look great! Here are some tips to help you eat right this weekend:
Research clearly shows that people who choose smaller plates and utensils eat less without even noticing it. The difference can be as substantial as 50% fewer calories consumed, yet everyone reports the same level of fullness and satisfaction. Try borrowing a plate from the kids table or the dessert tray.
Eat slowly and mindfully
People who eat more slowly eat fewer calories over the course of a meal. Cookouts are a perfect opportunity to pace yourself as you mix and mingle with friends and family. The more you’re chatting, the less you’re eating.
Eat your veggies first
If you are eating slowly and off small plates, you may as well fill up on the healthiest stuff first. Salads are a great place to start because watery vegetables slow digestion and have very few calories. Try to choose something with oil and protein as well, because these will help you feel full sooner.
Skip the chips, crackers and bread
Refined carbohydrates are the worst things you can eat because they offer little satisfaction, loads of calories and dangerous insulin spikes. BBQs are filled with wonderful food, so do yourself a favor and save your calories for the really good stuff. You don’t have to eat your burger without a bun, but pass on the pointless chips and other snacks that lure you when you’re not thinking.
Keep dessert small
The difference between a large slice of cake and a smaller slice of cake can literally be hundreds of calories. And to reiterate, sugar and refined carbohydrates are the most dangerous foods. You don’t have to pass on dessert completely, but keep your portion sizes in check for this course.
Think before you drink
There is a place for alcohol in a healthy lifestyle, but making smart choices can be the difference between losing or gaining weight (not to mention your self-control). One sugary margarita can have 600-800 calories. That means 3 margaritas is more food than you should be consuming in an entire day. Is that really worth it? Stick with wine or beer, drink plenty of water and remember to pace yourself. Small tricks can save you hundreds and potentially thousands of wasted calories that you will never notice or miss. Why sacrifice a good time when you can just upgrade your health?
Have a safe and fun 4th of July!