Everyone loves a Memorial Day BBQ, but can you indulge without ruining your diet? "Friday through Sunday is when most people consume more calories per day that typically come from high-fat foods and alcohol," says exercise physiologist and nutritionist Dr. Martica Heaner. Yet, with a few tricks, you can eat and drink over the holiday weekend with no regrets!
1. Strategize your day.
It's all tempting — the sour cream potato chips, creamy onion dip, cold soda, hickory-cheese-bacon burgers, potato salad and your aunt's pink fluff dessert. The night before the BBQ (and before you're tempted to pile your plate sky-high), plan what you'll eat and what you won't. Do a quick check online to find calorie counts for foods like baked beans, potato salad and pork ribs. What you find will help you determine where you're willing to indulge.
2. Sip wisely.
A few too many sodas, beers or margaritas will float your diet right now the river. Consider the calories packed in drinks like cosmos or fruity concoctions; instead opt for light beer, and wines over spirits. To keep hydrated on a hot day, bring your own bottled water or no-cal or low-cal flavored water. Miley Cyrus tells UsMagazine.com that she skips soda in favor of Hint Water's no-calorie, sugar-free water flavors like honeydew-hibiscus and pomegranate-tangerine. Find out the best and worst beers for your belly.
3. Play hard.
As much as the BBQ is about food, make sure you push away from the table and get active. Recruit friends and family into a game of horseshoes, softball, or volleyball. Dr. Heaner suggests finding activities that don't feel like a workout, so why not bring some tunes for your own Dancing with the Stars dance-off? Or get the kids out for a high-energy game of tag or hide-and-seek.
4. De-carb your plate.
If burgers and hot dogs are on the menu, try to de-carb your plate by ditching the bun. Keep an eye on the sauces as well. Many BBQ sauces, dips, and condiments are full of simple sugars that'll head right to your hips. Try this healthy potato salad recipe.
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5. Snack smartly.
Allow yourself to graze from the offerings, but choose wisely. Munch on fresh grapes, berries, melon and load up on green salad. If you fill up on healthy foods, you're less likely to indulge in high-fat bombs. Learn more about the healthy ways to snack.
— By Jeri Condit, Senior Health Editor at MSN Health & Fitness, for UsMagazine.com
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