It’s Labor Day!! That means it’s the last “unofficial” weekend of Summer. It also means that it’s the last hurrah before Fall routines start and our schedules start getting busier than ever!
So you can blame so many people for wanting to take advantage of the long weekend by eating and drinking until their heart’s content?!
No, of course not! However, all of this “whooping it up” usually has some pretty unpleasant consequences: namely feeling overwhelming guilty for all of our poor eating decisions, as well as headaches, hangovers and lack of [workout] motivation.
But it doesn’t have to be this way!
Here’s a list of 9 Simple Steps to Insure that Your Labor Day (and any Holiday weekend for that matter) is filled with both health and fun!
1) DON’T SKIP MEALS
I think skipping meals is one of the biggest pitfalls people make when preparing for what’s sure to be an overindulgent weekend. Many think that skipping a meal or two will give you extra calories to put towards drinks and treats. Yet doing this will actually make you more likely to overeat since you are so ravenous that the smell and sight of any – and all – foods will make you want to chow down. Skipping meals will also cause low blood sugar, again, making you super hungry and more likely to overeat, which brings me to #2…
2) EAT BEFORE YOU GO!
If you know you’ll be tempted with heavy and high fat foods, than make sure you eat something before you go to the party! This will actually end up saving you lots of bad decisions – and calories – in the long run because you won’t be trying to eat everything in sight. You’ll also be more mindful of what you do eat since you are going more for the taste factor, than just feeding your growling belly. Which now brings me to #3…
3) CHOOSE WISELY
Just because Summer is almost over, doesn’t mean this is the last time you are going to eat BBQ or drink ever! You will assuredly have plenty more excuses to eat good food and drink booze in the upcoming months, so you don’t need to eat it all now! Save your calories for the stuff that you’ve really been craving and don’t get to eat all the time or don’t ever make yourself. If you’re dying to have a piece of pie that Aunt Sara only makes once a year, then go for it! But then don’t eat a plateful of Pretzels that you could have any time the craving hits… bringing me to #4…
4) SCAN BEFORE YOU SCOOP
One of the greatest tips for helping to save on “party time calories” is to scan the
buffet line before you even pick up a plate. “Studies show that individuals who are overweight tend to fill their plate as they go through the line,” says shares Marcey Rader, M.Ed, health and wellness expert for Extended Stay America Hotels. “Meanwhile, people at a recommended weight tend to be more strategic and take inventory, decide what they’re going to eat, and then grab a plate.” By knowing what the offerings are at a potluck, for example, you can strategically choose the foods that best curb your cravings (as stated in #3), and won’t be wasting your calories on foods that you don’t truly love.
5) FILL UP ON THE GOOD STUFF
Just because your eating at a BBQ filled with tons of meats, fried-foods and desserts, doesn’t mean that you can’t eat something healthy too! Instead, load around ¾ of your plate with healthier options, like Hummus, Crudité, Salads and Fruit, and then save the last ¼ for bits and pieces of the foods you just can’t refuse! There’s no reason to totally restrict yourself, but do you really need to eat 4 Brownies?!
But what if there’s not any healthy options? Then…
6) BRING YOUR OWN FOODS
It’s pretty much guaranteed that there won’t be anything for me to eat at the majority of BBQs and parties that I attend. I’m well aware of this. But, that doesn’t mean I’m going to starve! I just always bring a couple dishes of foods that I know that I’ll enjoy, and I’m good to go. Whether it be a classic recipe made into a healthier version, a drink that I know I won’t feel crappy after drinking, or a healthier dessert, I never have to worry about going hungry because I don’t want to eat – or drink – the foods that are offered. Remember, there are so many amazing recipes you can serve (or bring) that the entire crowd will love! You don’t have to sacrifice flavor or your desserts to stay healthy. It’s important that you get to enjoy your holiday weekend too!
Now, in regards to booze…
7) KEEP YOUR BOOZING SIMPLE
Do yourself a favor and skip the bottomless Mimosas and Bloody Mary’s, and avoid fruity, sugary alcoholic concoctions altogether. Instead, sip on [my fav] champagne with a splash of Bai or simple mixes such as vodka, soda water and a squirt of lime. Not only will this save you a ton of calories, but you’ll also protect yourself from a sugar-induced headache later. And don’t forget to drink plenty of water in between your sips of alcohol! Staying hydrated will save you a lot of pain after a day full of boozing, so don’t underestimate the power of water!
8) CREATE A HEALTHY “MORNING AFTER” TRADITION
Just because you “went big” the day before, doesn’t mean your health streak has to be ruined! We all have days that we over-do it, but just think of the next morning as a day to start fresh, and get out and do it! Go for a walk, take a workout class, or meet some friends and play a game of soccer or football to get your blood flowing and heart pumping. This will not only help to clear your body of any unwanted toxins, but you’ll also be starting the day off on the right foot, making it easier to stick with healthy choices for the rest of the day. On the contrary, waking up and boozing more or eating a greasy, fat-filled breakfast will only continue the binge and make getting on track the next day that much harder. And on that note…
Exercising the morning after your binge is obviously a great way to get back on track, but don’t underestimate the power of working out before you go out with your friends and family. When you workout, your endorphins start to flow and your mind is already in a better place than when you started. This automatically helps you make better choices – whether it be on the types of foods you eat or the amount of drinks you ingest. Not to say that working out for an hour gives you an excuse to inhale 2 pieces of cake or drink 3 margaritas, but at least you burned some extra calories beforehand and will hopefully be in a better mindset to make healthier decisions for the rest of the day.
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So now that you are prepared to go into your holiday festivities with a healthy mindset, go out and have some fun!
And remember, if you ever want more personalized tips or advice to get you looking and feeling as healthy, fit, and fabulous as you desire, then CONTACT US and we will help make your dreams become reality!