With Memorial Day upon us, the summer has officially begun. Picnics, cookouts have arrived in full force as friends and families come together. Just because the cooking has been moved outside is no excuse to take a break from healthy habits! Here are some tips to help you walk away from the next gathering without feeling guilt!
1. Offer a dish.
This is the easiest way to ensure that a healthy option will be available. Have specific suggestions in mind when you contact the host, such as Buffalo Chicken Dip with veggies or These healthy party food ideas.
Steer clear of the sodas and juices (and alcohol). Drink a lot of water. The water will not only help keep you hydrated, but it will help fend away the hunger.
3. What to avoid:
- Mayonnaise-laden “salads”. Don’t let the salad name fool you, there’s nothing healthy about these salads.
- Dips. Veggie dips, fruit dips, chip dips – almost every gathering has these. Avoid the dips and have the veggies and fruits instead
- Desserts – Cookies, cupcakes, pies, ice cream. Need to have a sweet? Bring some of your own to share! Try this recipe for Chocolate Chickpea Muffins
4. What to put on your plate:
- Meats – If grilled chicken is an option, go for it. Remember to remove the skin. Other grilled meats are also an option, but if you’re going for a burger, consider skipping the bun (and definitely skip the mayonnaise!).
- Fruits and veggies. Fruits and veggies are AWESOME. Just remember to skip the dips that come with it.
- Healthier side dishes. If there are healthier options, consider a small portion.
5. Portion Control reigns.
Sometimes, you just can’t control the variety of foods that will be presented. However, you can control how much food goes on your plate and ultimately how much food goes in your mouth.
6. Distract yourself away from the food.
The closer you are to the food, the more tempted you will be to “grab a bite”. These are the dangerous sneaky bites. See if there is something else you can do/someone to talk to that is not near the food.
7. Enjoy yourself.
It’s a cookout. Cookouts are made to be fun and relaxing. Do the best you can with the food, and if you derailed a bit, recover from it immediately and get back on track. You’re in a lifestyle change, so there’s no need to wait to restart that lifestyle. The sooner you recover, the sooner you will resume progress in your healthy lifestyle.