If you’re on a mission to shed pounds, getting through Memorial Day weekend can feel like navigating blindly through an obstacle course. Memorial Day also represents the start of both bikini and BBQ season, and YES, you can enjoy your cookout without overeating and packing on pounds.
First, let’s acknowledge that one of the biggest hurdles we face while trying to lose weight is the temptation to indulge during the holidays. Hey, it’s a holiday afterall and calories don’t count, right?
Unfortunately, the next morning you feel like you must reverse the damage quickly and turn to dangerous crash diets to lose weight fast. You can avoid dealing with the stress of counting calories and overeating by implementing these simple tips to your holiday weekend:
Reach for veggies first
Traditional BBQ menus are loaded with meats, starches and carbs and typically lack vegetables. Great options include vegetables that are rich in water like grape tomatoes, bell pepper, cauliflower, cucumber, broccoli and zucchini. If you know you’ll be going to a cookout that won’t have lighter options, bring your own salad or veggie kabobs to put on the grill.
Eat lean protein
Substitute hot dogs, fatty burgers and sausages for grilled chicken or turkey breast, salmon, shrimp or even a grilled Portobello mushroom. These clean and lean alternatives are an easy way to cut out unnecessary calories while still eating a satisfying and delicious meal.
Pass on the alcohol
Alcohol acts as an appetite stimulant, which is a recipe for disaster for anyone without ironclad willpower. If passing on alcohol takes away from the weekend fun, treat yourself to a shot of pure alcohol instead of a mixed drink, which is typically loaded with sugar and calories. Or choose a lighter drink like light beer or a wine spritzer.
Drinking water not only keeps you hydrated, but also helps with keeping hunger levels to a minimum. Load up on water before you sit down to eat a meal so your stomach is full which helps prevent overeating. Alternate drinking alcohol with water. Drink 2 cups of water between each drink. Not only will it help prevent a hangover, but you’ll cut your liquid calorie intake in half.
Stay sane and realistic
If after Memorial Day Weekend you find a few extra pounds on the scale, it may be extra water weight your body is retaining from the sodium you’ve consumed. Cut your sodium intake in half for the rest of the week, and within a few days you’ll be right where you were before the festivities.
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