Spicy BBQ wings, dripping sauces, delectable dips, and desserts laden with chilled icing seem to be attacking from all sides. I know my waist band will be under siege this 4th of July but we can do our best to ward off pesky summer holiday pounds. Dare to fight off the extra inches and still fit into your swimming suit this Independence Day with a few helpful hints.
Don’t stand near the food table!
If you’re like me and will be attending a fun filled barbeque with friends this summer, station yourself as far away from the food table as possible. When I arrive at my festivities I’ll be plunking our chairs near one of the gardens. The farther away you are from the food the less likely you will be to randomly eat just because you can.
Bring a chilled water bottle
Drinking water before eating helps to make you feel full faster, and the hydration improves digestion. Keeping a chilled bottle of water with you also gives you something to sip when you just feel like putting something to your lips and is a lot more friendly than a plate of chips.
Watch your beverage calories
In the summer heat we tend to drink more, but we have to be careful how many calories are in those beverages. Keeping that chilled water bottle near you at all times helps to make sure that you don’t reach your caloric intake on iced coffees, cool cocktails, or even sodas. Look for recipes and drink mixes that give you something with flavor but don’t add extra sugar and calories to your summer menu. Offer diet sodas, zero calorie water drink mixes (the scale friendly version of Kool Aid), and even things like the 10 calorie Margareta drink mix I’ll be bringing on the 4th of July.
Bring some healthy options
This 4th of July I’ll be making some desserts to bring to the BBQ, but I’ll be including those that have fresh fruit like strawberries. I’m also cutting out calories and fat by using a sugar substitute and replacing oil in the cake with applesauce, and using egg whites instead of whole eggs (just don’t tell my kids all of my secrets!)
Bring yard games to play
I’m probably like many people I eat more when I have the time. Bocce ball, Frisbee, croquet, bean bag toss games, and even a remote controlled helicopter for the guys in your life can keep you, your family, and friends busy with summer time fun that doesn’t have you standing around the food table. If there is room you can even set up an inexpensive badminton net that can double as volleyball net with a beach ball. If you’re going to be near the water, don’t forget the buckets for sandcastles and the flippers for swimming. Keep moving and maybe you’ll be able to have your cake and eat it, too without gaining a pound.
This Independence Day you don’t have to lose your freedom to wear your clothes comfortably or step on the scale without worry. Eat, drink, and be merry, but do it while you keep moving and keep your calories in check. Enjoy those fireworks!