How to have a Happy and Healthy 4th of July!

First things first, pat yourself on the back for taking the time to read this as that means you are determined to enjoy the holiday AND stay focused on your health and fitness goals!

So much of our attitude and success is determined by our mindset. We are more likely to fail at a “diet” than we are at a lifestyle change. We are more likely to feel successful if we set realistic expectations of ourselves. If you commit to never having a single serving of sugar, alcohol or white flour for the rest of your life, chances are when you do happen to have food with these ingredients in them, you are going to feel like you have failed or let yourself down. This mentality is going to affect your overall success in reaching your goals. On the other hand, if you commit to making great choices 80% of the time, and allow for planned indulgences 20% of the time, you are more likely to be able to stick to your plan and feel successful.

This 4th of July, you will likely be attending a party, hosting a party or heading somewhere to watch the fireworks and parades. There is a high probability that alcohol, desserts, and foods that are not a normal part of your diet (regular food intake not restrictive “diet”) will be present. Decide BEFORE you go what you absolutely cannot live without. Plan to have 1 glass of wine and then switch to iced tea or water. Plan to have 1 serving of your favorite appetizer and then fill the rest of your plate with veggies. Plan to share a sliver of cake with someone rather than the large slice that you normally would indulge in. The very act of deciding that it is OK before you go into the situation is going to allow you to feel successful even though you did indulge.

The reverse is true too. If you go in without a plan, you may overeat before you even know what happened. If you go in planning to have nothing at all at the gathering and the tempting appetizers or desserts call your name, your feeling of having blown your plan could lead you down a dangerous road of thinking... since your plan has already been compromised, you will just do better tomorrow and give yourself permission to continue to overindulge for the remainder of the night. The simple act of making something completely off limits can trick your mind into obsessing over it.

Plan for it, be smart about it and you will be better able to let it go and continue to make smart decisions that align with your goals.

TIPS for HOLIDAY SUCCESS:

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? Take a walk or jog while you are there. Bring a football or frisbee and spend some time running around 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 a workout? I have posted a workout for you on this page so you can get a good sweat in a short amount of time! No excuses friends!

Now go out there and have a fantastic holiday!