Now that Memorial Day has passed, it is the
season of cook-outs, parties, and weddings…
which means excessive opportunities to fall off the “everything in moderation”-lifestyle-wagon. Like I have stated repeatedly in previous posts, it is okay to eat that slice of pizza or that scoop of chocolate fudge brownie ice cream (can you tell what I want right now?), but it’s important to do so in moderation and also have a good intake of nutrient-dense, natural, non-processed foods. However, because the summer season is upon us, we will be forced to be around greasy, sugary, processed foods while simultaneously being forced to wear less clothing… ironic, huh? Therefore, I have compiled a list of tips to keep yourself relatively “on-track” this season as you tackle the bbq food table.
- Don’t arrive to a party starving. What I really like to do before a cookout is have a small salad, some veggies and hummus, or a protein shake before I arrive that way I’m not scrounging for food and inhaling the first thing I see. It’s like going to the grocery store hungry… you’re always more likely to make unhealthy choices.
- Fill your plate with veggies first. If you crowd some of your plate with salad or veggies you’re not going to be able to fit that second helping of pizza on there. Like tip #1 the goal is to fill yourself up with nutrient-dense foods first so that you’re not over-indulging on the other stuff.
- Skip the bread on your burger or hot dog. As you know, if you’ve read my previous posts, I’m not a fan of eliminating whole food groups, but in this case, it is probably a better option to skip that white hamburger bun. I’d rather have a little more meat and a little less sugar, especially since I know I’m going for that chocolate chip cookie later 😉
- Don’t have “a little bit” of everything. In theory, it sounds like a good idea, but what ends up happening is you eat more than if you had just had a small portion of what you really want. As hard as it is, decide what you’re really craving: the burger or the hot dog? the mashed potatoes or the broccoli casserole (which, let’s face it, is mostly cheese)? the cookie or the fudge brownie?
- Take it easy on the alcohol, soda, etc. If you’re going to indulge in foods, it’s better to avoid the high-calorie and sugary drinks. It’s also much easier to overdue it on drinks because you don’t really notice how much you’re intaking. Now, I do love a cold beer or a glass of wine, but I’ll have one, after I’ve eaten, if I’m not stuffed, and I’ll call it a day. Water, water, water is what you really should have, especially if it’s a warm day and you’re indulging.
- Don’t feel guilty about that s’mores. Enjoy yourself. I can’t say I’ve never overindulged and ended up feeling sick at a cookout… because to be honest, I’m a
big fan of food. But do NOT let your indulgences leave you feeling guilty and depressed. Drink some water, sweat a little, and move on. It’s important to live your life and have fun with friends and family, and, sometimes, that means jumping, not falling, off the healthy-fit-bandwagon.
Go to that cook-out, wedding, bbq, WHATEVER and enjoy yourself. Don’t go hungry. Choose what you what. Don’t feel guilty about it. Take it easy and practice moderate-moderation, because you might need that extra s’mores 😉