Happy Successful Labor Day!!

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You are probably gearing up for a barbecue or swimming at the beach with friends to celebrate the holiday today.  With that comes alcohol and lots of food!  Don't forget about your health and fitness goals as well as the reason for the holiday.  I want you to be successful rather than feel guilty!  

What is Labor Day and why do we celebrate it?

Labor Day was created by the Central Labor Union in New York City and first celebrated on a Tuesday, September 5, 1882.  It was intended to be a day dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. Two years later, the first Monday in September was picked as the day to celebrate Labor Day.  

In 1884, the Central Labor Union in New York City urged organizations in other cities to celebrate Labor Day and honor the working people as they had been doing. 

The proposal to celebrate the holiday nationwide included an outline of the events that would take place.  There would be a street parade to exhibit to the public "the strength and esprit de corps of the trade and labor organizations" of the community, followed by a festival for the recreation and amusement of the workers and their families. (Credit - Department of Labor) 

It has since become a yearly tribute to the contribution that working people in this country have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of the country. 

Tips for a successful holiday:

1. DONT SKIP MEALS

Before you head out the door to the barbecue or get-together, make sure that you have had a good breakfast or lunch and have prepped some snacks to take with you.  If you head to a get-together hungry, what do you think will happen?  You will end up making poor food choices as well as overeat due to excessive hunger.  Eating a nutritious meal of carbs and protein (ex. eggs and whole grain toast) before you head out will help you control portions and be more conscious of what you put on your plate.

2. BRING SOMETHING HEALTHY

Ever expected there to be something healthy at a party and your only options were chips and dip?  Take control of what you eat and bring a healthy dish to share.  You can pile up on what you brought and minimize portions of what the host has made.  

3. CONTROL WHAT YOU PUT ON YOUR PLATE

When you are faced with a buffet table of delicious treats, know that you do not have to try everything!  First, fill your plate with fruits and vegetables (salad, raw veggies etc.) and then place small portions of a few of your favorites from the spread on your plate.  This ensures that you are fueling your body mostly with food that will give you energy and allowing yourself a few treats as well. 

4. MAKE A PLAN

Ever heard the saying, fail to plan, plan to fail?  When you don't go in with a plan, anything goes!  I bet you know this to be true.  If you know that you want to have a slice of cake or one glass of wine at your get-together, then write it down or make it known to someone that your sweets plan includes one slice of cake and alcohol plan includes 1 drink.  Stick to it and feel great about it!  Hold yourself accountable!

5. MAKE HEALTHY SWAPS

Every single healthy choice makes a difference, so why not swap out the bun in the hamburger for lettuce or use Greek yogurt in lieu of sour cream.  There are so many ways to make modifications to foods in order to make them more nutritious.  

6. MAKE ACTIVITY A PRIORITY

We talked a lot about being successful with food, but you also should build activity into your holiday so you feel energized and keep consistent with your fitness routine.  

Going to the beach?  Bring a football or frisbee and spend some time running around in the sand.  Take a walk or jog in the sand.  Heading to a get-together at someone's house in the afternoon?  Plan out some time in the morning or evening to do a 20-30 minute full-body workout.  Need some workout ideas?  Check out my previous blog posts or my Facebook page.

Now go out there and have a fantastic holiday!