If you’re like the rest of America, you probably have plans to celebrate this long holiday weekend. For many, this means BBQs and parties with family and friends. While this is an exciting prospect, it can also be difficult for those who are striving to lose weight and stay fit. Our medical weight loss physician recommends the following tips for staying on track with your diet or weight loss management program, without sacrificing your 4th of July fun.
1. Get moving. Even though it’s technically a holiday, it’s not a good time to take a break from your exercise regimen—especially if you may be consuming a little more than usual over the weekend. Wake up and hit the gym or go for a run, if possible. Even a walk will help burn calories and jumpstart your metabolism. If you can participate in any physical activities at the events you attend, go for it. Go swimming or surfing, play Frisbee or a team sport—any physical activity will benefit you and help offset your calorie count.
2. Don’t arrive on an empty stomach. If you plan to hit a BBQ or buffet, do not arrive hungry. This will ensure that you overeat. Instead, start your day with a fiber- and protein-rich breakfast to help satiate your hunger throughout the day, and reach for healthy snacks in between.
3. Stay hydrated. It’s important to drink water throughout the day to prevent hydration and help you stay full. Research shows that many mistake thirst for hunger, so if you just ate but think you may be getting hungry again, reach for an extra glass of water instead of hitting the chips and dip. Chances are you won’t feel hungry once you drink the water.
4. Use smaller plates and utensils. A great trick for BBQs and buffets is to opt for a smaller plate, such as one typically used for salads or appetizers. Fill at least half your plate with healthy options and eat slowly, chances are that small plate full will fill you up.
5. Drink moderately. If you do choose to drink this holiday weekend, do so very moderately. Avoid sugar-laden cocktails made with juice and stick to low calorie options like a white wine spritzer.
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