Memorial Day marks the unofficial start of summer. The start of sun, grilling, beach days and lots and LOTS of parties.
This holiday weekend looks and feels a little different than in previous years and, while gatherings and celebrations may be smaller, the temptation to overeat and overindulge is still alive and well.
Take a look at some tips to help you navigate all the red, white and blue treats for a healthier Memorial Day weekend:
Eat regular meals throughout the day
You know the story…you don’t eat a lot during the day in preparation to hit the snack table or indulge in a large holiday meal later in the day, but when you get to the meal you’re eating everything in sight as if you’ve never eaten a meal in your life. Sound familiar? Break that habit by eating normal, nourishing meals the day leading up to the party. Focus on filling your plate with fruits and vegetables throughout the day. Not only will they save some calories for more decadent treats later, but they help you feel full.
Focus on healthier appetizers and sides
Summer parties are notorious for alllll the grilled food and sweet treats you can get your hands on. And while these foods taste so good, they can leave you feeling not so good if you overindulge. Try making a healthier homemade appetizer or side that focuses on fruit, veggies and whole grains. I’m a big fan of cowboy caviar, this mayo-free potato salad, or this summer wild rice salad.
Step away from the snack table
Where do 99.99% of all good parties take place? Right next to the food.
It’s easy to lose yourself in the beauty of a good party food spread. And it’s also pretty easy to overeat at said spread. Instead of setting up shop next to the food table, make yourself a plate and step away. Avoid mindless grazing as much as possible!
Everything in moderation…
Repeat after me: all foods fit. Yup, you heard that right! There is a place in your diet for all foods, even your most favorite decadent, rich, festive holiday foods. Here’s the catch (come on, you know there’s always a catch!) - all foods fit in moderation. That sneaky ‘m’ word! Moderation will be your best friend when it comes to eating what I’ll call nutritionally inferior foods. Maybe instead of taking a whole plate full of chips and dip only have a few chips and a smaller portion of dip. Or substitute some of those chippies for veggies. It can be that simple!
I know, I know. But try drinking a glass of water in between each alcoholic beverage to (hopefully) ward off the next day hangover.
Feeling peer pressured to have a drink in your hand? Try mixing up a mocktail! Mix a splash of your favorite juice with sparkling water and garnish as you would an alcoholic drink. It’ll be our little secret that it’s free from booze!