Ahh, Independence Day! Fireworks, pools, parks, and all the delicious food you could ask for. However, you want to stay on track with your diet and indulge a little bit on this festive day. Well, I’m going to give you a few survival tips to help stay the course…

#1 GO AHEAD AND ENJOY YOURSELF (If you’ve earned it)

This advice might come as a shock to some of you but it’s very much the truth. If you’ve made significant progress over the last few months then, in my opinion, you’ve earned the right to treat yourself (not cheat yourself) this special day.

This doesn’t mean you get to eat the whole farm (I wouldn’t recommend eating to the point of disgust). However, have a few ribs. Eat some of that delicious mac n’ cheese. Have a brewski or two. That apple pie sounds mighty nice too! The point is you need to enjoy life. So, if you know it’s a once in a blue moon event and you’ll get back on track with your nutrition and training plan the following day then, I say, have a good time!

#2 EAT BEFORE YOU GET TO THE FESTIVITIES

I’m a huge fan of this method. It keeps you in check and helps subdue those urges to eat everything in site. Believe me, it’s no fun to see all the foods you crave when you’re hungry and are tryin to stay on track (just experienced over a 2-day trip to Charleston and I put on 6lbs…and I was trying to be good). Granted, the weight came off in 2 days but I digress.

Eat some protein: small piece of beef or chicken, a protein shake, protein bar, etc. Focus on a lean protein source. It’s slow digesting. It won’t keep you from eating when you reach your destination but it won’t let you go bonkers either. If you’d like something else then I recommend anything high in fiber. Certain fruits (apples, bananas, oranges, berries) have 3-5g of fiber per serving. Fiber acts as filler much like protein. Very good for you without consuming too many calories.

#3 EAT THE GREENS FIRST

This might surprise some of you who have read my previous posts because I’m not recommending protein. Why? Most 4th of July events will have some sort of salad/veggies concoction to appease the strange people like you (aka healthy people). Eat a plate of this first (try to use a low calories dressing if available). Once you’ve finished your plate then go for the meats!

#4 DRIZZLE THE BBQ

While ribs, wings, and burgers are delicious the flavor skyrockets to the stratosphere when we add some delicious BBQ. Assuming the meat of choice is not already drenched in BBQ sauce (some are marinated which isn’t too bad) take a side of the sauce and lightly drizzle it on your meal. Calories go a long way and most BBQ sauces have 60 calories in 2 tablespoons (no, that’s not a typo….two tablespoons has SIXTY CALORIES!). The average BBQ plate will have upwards of 16 tablespoons of sauce….that’s almost 500 calories and we haven’t even added in the meat).

#5 TRIM THE FAT

Chicken wings have a decent amount of fat on them. Unfortunately, you can’t cut any off. Same goes for the burgers. However, there is some wiggle room with ribs. Assuming you’re eating your standard pork ribs (beef ribs tend to have less fat but still a significant amount) try to cut the fat off your stack if it’s visible. If not, then give yourself one rack to enjoy. If you’ve followed the steps above then you should be good.

#6 SKINNY GIRL EVERYTHING

I’d be crazy if I told you to avoid alcohol on this fine day. Heck, I was a Marine and we were founded in a Tavern (and I’m sure some of our Founding Fathers had a pint or two while writing the Declaration of Independence). So, go for the light beers or cocktails with low calorie mixers. Don’t forget…if you drink don’t drive.

#7 HOST WITH TASTE

I’m not the best when it comes to recipes but I do know how to find a few good ones to share with you. If you’re going to host or bring some bite to an event then I recommend these 2 (I’ve had them both and love them!)….

Healthy Coleslaw:

Healthy BBQ Ribs

If you have any recipes you think others would enjoy please share them in the comments section below. STAY FIT MY FRIENDS!

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