Happy 4th of July!

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4th of July - a day to celebrate America's independence as well as enjoy quality time with family and friends, barbecue, watch parades, and snuggle up under the stars for firework displays.

Before you get carried away, however, with food and drinks, read the 6 tips I have listed below so you don't regret your holiday BBQ and then sneak away to get in a quick, intense Stars and Stripes workout. Set a timer for 45 seconds on, 10 seconds off for 9 rounds. Do each star exercise for 45 seconds. In between star exercises/during your 10 seconds off, you will be doing either 10 reps of mountain climbers or high knees. Repeat the entire workout at least 2 times and you are sure to be sweating and ready to take on the day!

Want to workout with me, then head on over to my Facebook page and hit play on the Stars and Stripes video! I am ready to sweat with you and motivate you throughout the workout. https://www.facebook.com/livefitwithmichelle/?ref=ts&fref=ts

4th of July BBQ Survival Tips:

1. Use small plates

Research clearly shows that people who choose smaller plates and utensils eat less without even noticing it. The difference can be as substantial as 50% fewer calories consumed, yet everyone reports the same level of fullness and satisfaction. Try borrowing a plate from the kids table or the dessert tray.

2. Eat slowly and mindfully

People who eat more slowly eat fewer calories over the course of a meal. BBQs are a perfect opportunity to pace yourself as you mix and mingle with friends and family. The more you’re chatting, the less you’re eating.

3. Eat healthiest foods first

If you are eating slowly and off small plates, you may as well fill up on the healthiest stuff first. Salads are a great place to start because watery vegetables slow digestion and have very few calories. Try to choose something with oil and protein as well, because these will help you feel full sooner.

4. Skip the chips, crackers and bread

Refined carbohydrates are the worst things you can eat because they offer little satisfaction, loads of calories and dangerous insulin spikes. BBQs are filled with wonderful food, so do yourself a favor and save your calories for the really good stuff.

You don’t have to eat your burger without a bun, but pass on the pointless chips and other snacks that lure you when you’re not thinking. If you’re feeling bored, grab a frisbee or football instead.

5. Keep dessert small

The difference between a large slice of cake and a smaller slice of cake can literally be hundreds of calories. And to reiterate, sugar and refined carbohydrates are the most dangerous foods. You don’t have to pass on dessert completely, but keep your portion sizes in check for this course.

6. Think before you drink

There is a place for alcohol in a healthy lifestyle, but making smart choices can be the difference between losing or gaining weight (not to mention your self-control). One sugary margarita can have 600-800 calories. That means 3 margaritas is more food than you should be consuming in an entire day. Is that really worth it? Stick with wine or beer, drink plenty of water and remember to pace yourself.