How To Enjoy The Holiday Weekend WITHOUT Going Up A Pant Size!
It’s the weekend before Memorial Day and you, of course are making your plans for all the picnics, parties, and grilling your little heart can handle. BUT you’re worried you won’t be able to enjoy yourself without completely blowing your diet. Right? Girllllll, I gotchu. This should be the LEAST of your worries. I have put together my top tips for conquering ANY picnic or party without sabotaging your progress. And with graduations, weddings, holidays, and “it’s summer” get-togethers, I highly recommend you bookmark this list of golden nuggets and keep it where you can find it easily.
Here’s the thing with picnics… we feel like we need to gorge ourselves on all of Aunt Karen’s famous potato salad, Uncle Jim’s double chocolate peanut butter cake, AND Becky’s AMAZING cocktails. We can, to a point. But I’m not trying to nurse a sugar hangover, or any other hangover for that matter, for the week while I continue to bust my ass trying to get “BACK ON TRACK”. All aboard the struggle bus….
Instead, we can have our indulgences and still stay where we need to be to feel (and look) our best. First and foremost, I want you to remember your goals and WHY you want to live a healthier lifestyle and use that as motivation to stay on track and make smart choices. But if that doesn’t work, go try on that itty bitty bikini you want to confidently rock this summer. Put that sucker on and feel PROUD of all the work you’ve put into your body thus far. Do a little spin, check out that booty and give yourself a strong pat on the back. You DON’T want to regress and set yourself back from all that hard work you’ve put in thus far just for ONE picnic…. especially at the beginning of the summer when we have 9,675 more picnics and events to go! So check out my top tips below and put them to good use!
1. Eat before you go.
You’ll be a million times more pleasant and you won’t binge while you’re at the party. Think of it as doing your hosts a favor, nobody like Hangry Hellen who is miserable and keeps asking when the burgers will be done. And if you’re hosting the party… you’ll be able to tolerate Hangry Hellen a lot more than you would on an empty stomach. Trust me, you’ll thank me later. Focus on a full meal prior to the party (protein, fat, carbs and veggie) and don’t forget to load up on the water while you’re at it.
2. Bring or make a dish.
By bringing a dish you know there will be something at the party you can eat and that you enjoy. Sometimes we feel uncomfortable asking somebody to prepare a meal for us that meets all of our needs. “um yes, can you make me all gluten free, Dairy-free, soy-free, low sodium dishes. Oh, and I don’t eat beans and I’m allergic to nuts. Great Thanks!”. You just bought yourself a one way ticket to the “not invited list”, keep this in mind for parties you DON’T want to attend. Bringing an item gives you control and doesn’t make you feel uncomfortable or like you’re putting the host out by asking THEM to meet your needs.
Need some ideas of what to bring? Maybe start with some gluten-free rolls (even just one or two for yourself). Canyon Bakehouse and Udi’s are my favorite brands. Consider a burger alternative such as turkey burgers, salmon burgers, or grilled chicken. Try out a Burger Salad Recipe, or prepare yourself a sweet potato “bun” like the one featured in this recipe! I even have an amazing recipe for a Grilled Eggplant and Summer Squash Salad that’s vegan-friendly, and of course Gauc or hummus with veggies is ALWAYS a hit!
3. When you’re done eating, MOVE away from the food.
Keep Going, not yet, almost, 27 more steps… STOP right there. We are triggered by our senses. The longer you stand and chat next to the food, the more you are going to pick without even realizing it. One minute there’s a basket of tortillas and taco salad and 5 minutes later you’re scooping salsa with your fingers. We’ve all been there when the OH SHIT of what we’ve just eaten has taken over.
4. Bring a protein bar.
Keep a protein bar in your bag, this especially helps with desert craving. Protein bars used to be one of the most disgusting things on the planet, but now you can get them in just about any flavor you can imagine. Last week I had one that was a “chocolate mint brownie” and it tasted exactly like a fudgy mint brownie. I’m sold!
5. Be smart with your beverage choices.
Look I know we already talked about Becky’s amazing cocktails and I’m sure they are the best ones you’ve ever had, BUT you will blow a weeks’ worth calories (and let’s not forget about the sugar) really fast! Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered with a few drink options, I’m not a complete buzz kill.
**Smart Beverage Hacks**
1. Cocktails Made with True Lemon cut your carb/sugar count drastically! I have three True Lemon cocktail recipes (Many true lemon flavors are found at target, walmart, many grocery stores, and online at truelemon.com and on amazon) that are AMAZING!! These recipes have a lower carb/sugar count than the majority of cocktail recipes which will help to control your blood sugar spikes and decrease the amount of empty calories you consume. I’ll be honest, the Grapefruit summer spritzer, might be my favorite and completely takes any “guilt” out of drinking.
2. Kombucha instead of soda, lemonade, or juice. (My favorite brands are Kevita and GT). I have many clients who enjoy Kombucha and even share it with their kids. If you haven’t tried it, you may need to play with a few different flavors before you find the one you REALLY enjoy. My favorite flavor is Kevita’s Pineapple Peach! Drink it plain or use it as a healthier mixer for your adult beverage. It’s a nice treat when you want something MORE than water, but still want to keep things clean and on track.
I wanted to show you a few nutrition facts just to show you how much of a difference it can make for you AND your family to choose smarter beverage options.
- 8 oz Kevita= 35 cals, 8g carbs, 8g sugar
- 8 oz Coke = 95 cals, 26g carbs, 26g sugar, chemicals
- 8 oz Minute Maid Lemonade = SAME AS COKE!
- 8 oz Florida’s Natural orange juice = 110 cals, 26g carb, 22g sugar
Making the switch to Kombucha alone can cut your calories by almost 70%!
Now, I need to emphasize to you that, when you’re making these healthier food and beverage choice, it’s not JUST about minimizing the calorie consumption for that day. These little changes will have an effect on your blood sugar, insulin sensitivity, hormone levels, and more for the next several days. The choices you make in ONE DAY truly create a snowball effect for the rest of your week! You can potentially have a food and sugar hangover for DAYS! So many times, we adopt the mindset of “Its one day! What can it hurt?!” One day of crappy food and beverage choices can cause you to be bloated, sluggish, moody, tired, and miserable for DAYS. To me, it’s just not worth it! Especially when I know there are ways I can still enjoy myself AND have a few snacks here and there at a picnic or event. This is all about the lifestyle, and making these simple adjustments to avoid the all-out-binge mindset we’re accustomed to when it comes to events that involve food!
Now, if you’re looking to reasonably enjoy your holiday weekend, but still want to “Reset” after the celebrations are over, I’d love to have your in our next round of the 7 Day Reset starting Tuesday, May 28th! Want more details? CLICK HERE!