Memorial Day means family cookouts and parties with friends. It also means alcohol, barbecue, burgers, desserts, hotdogs, potato salad and lots of delicious and calorie rich food. For those who are on a weight loss journey, times like this can be challenging, but they don’t have to be. Here are some tips to help you stay on track this Memorial Day!
Don’t let food be the focus.
During the holidays and when we get together with friends, it’s easy to let calorie rich, unhealthy food take us off course. Too often, we focus more on what we can and can’t eat at a gathering, instead of focusing on the people around us and the experience. You are not just there to eat food. Be present, be in the moment and enjoy yourself.
Take a healthy dish or two with you.
Not only can you share something awesome with others, but you’ll ensure that you have access to healthy food in the face of temptation.
Just say NO!
Many times, there is pressure to eat at family gatherings. “Did you have some ____? Don’t forget Aunt Bessie’s______?” We don’t want to be questioned about our choices or draw attention to what we are eating, so we may put food on our plate that we know we don’t need. Don’t let anyone else’s opinions sway your choices. If we don’t develop the willpower to say no and to learn how to use moderation, we will never reach our goals. Be proud of yourself when you say no, because that is progress… and it’s not easy.
Don’t make excuses.
If you are going to eat something, eat it without guilt. If you want to make Memorial Day a cheat day or you know that you can work those calories into you plan, GREAT. However, if you will feel bad afterwards and beat yourself up… don’t eat it. Food is not worth the emotional abuse we put ourselves through when we beat ourselves up.
Eat before you arrive.
Eating a healthy meal before you get to a party or cookout is the number one way to help ensure that you don’t overindulge. This also helps if you plan to do any drinking, since you won’t have alcohol on an empty stomach.
Take part in activities.
Want to burn some extra calories. Get your dance on. Run around with the children. Participate in group games. Help out with setting up or taking down tables and chairs. Look for opportunities to get in some movement.