Fourth of July Food Choices

Happy Fourth of July!

Let’s face it – the Fourth of July is not known as a healthy eating holiday. There are BBQs, the annual Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest, ice cream and numerous types of potato salad. It’s a delicious, but fattening holiday.

Do you want to enjoy your summer holiday while maintaining your weight? Try Fitness for Health’s healthy eating tips today.

  • Drink plenty of water. Fourth of July parties often call for high calorie drinks, especially if you are celebrating outdoors. The summer heat makes everyone thirsty, so it’s just easy to grab an icy soda or alcoholic beverage. Instead, opt for a bottle of cold water that has zero calories and will keep you hydrated.
  • Cut back on the BBQ ribs. Loaded with more than 1,500 calories and 65 grams of fat per serving, ribs aren’t the best choice for your 4th of July picnic. They may be high in protein, but are filled with artery clogging fat. Switch to a healthier alternative such as marinated grilled chicken or grilled lean (7%) ground beef.
  • Don’t sacrifice dessert. Are you scared that you can’t resist the temptation of ice cream, cherry pie or gooey brownies? Don’t resist. Try a small taste to ensure you feel satiated, but don’t over-indulge and unknowingly increase your calorie count.
  • Bring your own main dish. Instead of having to choose the lesser of two (or more) evils, bring your own healthy meal to eat or to share. Bring cedar-plank salmon to share with your friends. Are you vegetarian? Try Mediterranean couscous with fresh peas for a double punch of protein and fiber. Plus, couscous is a considered a superfood!
  • Be conscious of your eating. One of the biggest problems at parties is not the array of summer delicacies. It’s the fact that you don’t stay conscious and aware of what you’re eating or how much you are consuming. Practice mindful eating. Pay attention to your level of hunger and don’t grab a plate of food just because everyone else is standing around munching and chatting. If you are hungry, make healthy choices. If you are not hungry, take this time to catch up with old friends and forget about snacking.

As summer parties are in full swing, be realistic. Now is probably not the best time to start a diet.  Instead, try to maintain your current weight and make a promise to lose any extra pounds by visiting your personal trainer or taking athletic training classes such as Fitness for Health’s EDGE Athletic Training.

Most importantly, enjoy the Fourth of July with your family and friends and make healthy eating choices without denying yourself your favorite foods in the buffets!

To learn how Fitness for Health can help you make time for exercise this summer, please visit www.FitnessForHealth.org or call 301-231-7138.