Summer is for baring skin and showing off that healthy body you’ve worked so hard to achieve. Don’t let summer cookouts and holiday BBQs add inches to your waistline. The following healthy eating tips for Memorial Day will help you stay slim and healthy, while having the confidence to bare skin throughout the warm weather months.
Fitt tip #1: Veg out
Instead of sitting down to a plate of high-calorie ribs as your first course, load up on salad and veggies before you hit the grilled meats. You’ll be less likely to overeat the higher calorie foods later if you fill up with a huge salad or grilled vegetables first. And don’t be afraid to offer to bring a veggie tray with healthy yogurt-based dips or guacamole.
Fitt tip #2: Hydrate, Hydrate, hydrate
Drinking a large glass of water before eating a meal will slow you down and help reduce your caloric intake. It can also help you avoid dehydration, which can sap your energy and cause false-hunger signals. I like to guzzle water throughout the day to stay hydrated and be less likely to overeat later.
Fitt tip #3: Go skinless
Before eating, remove the skin from chicken and turkey. If available, choose a boneless, skinless chicken breast or a lean sirloin burger as your main course. I always offer to bring a healthy dish. One of my g0-to BBQ options is Bell & Evans chicken burgers or Trader Joe’s Turkey Burgers. I also love Jennie-O brats and sausages. If you bring a box to share, most guests will choose a healthy option if there is one available.
Fitt tip #4: Watch your alcohol
Cold beers on a hot day go down fairly easily — but that doesn’t make them calorie free. If you’re indulging in alcohol, it’s important to watch your carbs. To help reduce your overall calorie intake for the day, give up a few carbohydrates at breakfast and lunch to make up for those ice cold beers! I love a flavored vodka over ice with tons of limes. Sometimes something new can become you new favorite drink!
Fitt tip #5: Don’t let the name “salad” fool you
Avoid potato and macaroni salads — they are loaded in saturated fats, carbs and starches — unless you know they are loaded with chopped veggies and have been made with a low-fat dressing. Even still, don’t overindulge on the carb-heavy fare. You are aways better off filling up on more lean protein and grilled veggies if you can.
Fitt tip #6: Use whole wheat buns
In addition to choosing whole wheat buns over white, eat your burger open-faced (one half of a bun) to even out your protein and carbohydrate ratio. Or even better, skip the bun altogether and load your burger up with veggies and healthy sides. Corn on the cob is a great option to your bun-less burger, or a sweet potato is always a filling side dish.
Fitt tip #7: Use your hand to determine portion control
Just because your plate is full doesn’t mean you need to eat it all. A serving of protein is usually the size of your fist. Eat about that much and load up on green veggies and healthy carbs to fill up!
Fitt tip #8: Think Lean Protein
Grilling is actually a low-fat way to prepare food, but only if you choose lower fat option. Hot dogs and ribs, which are typical barbecue fare, are high in fat and calories. Tuna steaks, bison burgers and chicken breasts, on the other hand, are the perfect pick for lean protein sources.
My FittChick “approved” Memorial Day meal will be…
Appetizers..Unlimited veggies, shrimp cocktail, guacamole, and tons of water.
Dinner…A huge salad, a burger loaded with lettuce, tomato, onion, pickle, and mustard, with a mound of grilled vegetables.
Dessert…I will definitely skip the sugary stuff myself, but if your sweet tooth is kicking in, try and satisfy it with a plate of berries or a glass of wine.
BBQ’s can be extremely diet friendly or can be a complete nightmare depending your mind-set. Focus on catching up with your family and friends and having a great time!
Eat Yourself Skinny!