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Tips For Celebrating The Fourth Of July When You're Trying To Lose Weight

By Elisa - Jenny Craig

The Fourth of July is a day of fireworks, fun and barbecued food, everywhere you turn. The good news—you can have a guilt-free Fourth of July when you’re trying to lose weight. To help you stay on-track with your health goals, we’ve compiled our best tips on how to stay healthy on the Fourth of July.

 

The number one way to have a healthy Fourth of July is to plan ahead. If you show up starving to a BBQ that is serving platters of macaroni salad and ice cream treats, it is going to feel a lot more challenging to choose a healthier option or refrain from overeating.

 

But with deliberate planning, you can enjoy the holiday with friends and family while still eating well. Here are our top tips to help keep this Fourth of July on the healthy side.

Nourish Your Body Before the Celebration

FourthofJuly_HealthyRecipes.jpgYou know that feeling when you go to the grocery store hungry? Suddenly, everything in the aisle looks amazing, and it’s easy to go overboard. The same goes for summer BBQs, holiday eating and dining out. By giving your body healthy fuel beforehand, you’ll likely not feel as ravenous or as tempted to grab something less nutritious.

 

Try this: enjoy a fruit with some protein. Options we love include an apple with a teaspoon of nut butter or a small handful of berries sprinkled over yogurt.

 

If you do indulge, instead of piling your plate high, try practicing a few mindful eating techniques and enjoy a smaller portion of your favorite treat. 

Bring Your Own Healthy Fourth of July Recipes

The best way to make sure there is healthy food to eat is to bring it!

 

There are plenty of recipes to make food that is nutritious and great-tasting. When you’re excited about the healthy dish you’ve created, you may be less likely to stray from your plan with higher calorie, less-than-stellar options.

 

Here are a couple of ideas for healthy holiday recipes:

 

●     Sliced veggies and carrots + Summer Salsa

●     Lettuce Wrap Tacos

Substitute Soda

FourthofJuly_SodaAlt.jpgOne of the easiest ways to cut way down on calories is to avoid soda and sugary juices. It’s easy to forget that soda is a hidden sugar bomb. Did you know:

 

●     The average soda contains more sugar than the recommended dose for women each day (6 teaspoons) and is essentially the whole daily amount for men (9 teaspoons.)1-2

●     Soda is packed with empty calories (which are calories that provide no nutritional value for your body.)1

 

Looking for a healthy solution? Substitute a cola with an alternative, such as sparkling water, which helps replicate the carbonation without the added calories and sugar. Infuse more flavor into your water by adding fruits like lemons, oranges, and cucumbers.

 

Check out these 10 tips for drinking more water— on the Fourth of July or any day!

Be Mindful of Your Portions

You’ve probably heard the expression, “My eyes were bigger than my stomach”—and when you’re at a BBQ surrounded by food, it can be easy to relate. When there are so many delicious choices, it can be easy to load your plate with more food than you intend. Try to start by selecting a few reasonable portions of your favorite, healthy options to put on your plate and then savor every bite! You can always come back for more if you’re still hungry. You may even find that by taking your time to enjoy your meal and letting your stomach signal to your brain feelings of fullness, you don’t want seconds after all.

 

FourthOfJuly_Plates.jpgOne of the best ways to stay on track with your weight loss goals is portion control. Following a weight loss program doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy any of the delicious treats over the holiday. Use this visual portion guide to help you indulge in moderation. Being aware of your portions can lead to a guilt-free Fourth of July.

 

Another simple way to keep track of your portion sizes is to use smaller plates. One study conducted by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that reducing the size of your plate can have a significant impact on how much food you consume.3 Swapping a 12-inch plate for a 9-inch dish could potentially shave off around 250 calories a meal.4

 

How can you use this approach on Independence Day? If you’re hosting a party, set out a variety of small to mid-sized plates. If you’re not the host, you can offer to bring paper plates and napkins. You’ll be helping the hostess while keeping your portion sizes in check! 

Keep It Going!

FourthofJuly_KeepItGoing.jpgNow that you have a few tips on how to stay healthy this Fourth of July, keep it going so you can feel healthy all summer long! We know summertime can be busy with the kids home from school, but you can still find ways to stick to your weight loss program. Learn how to prevent summer weight gain while balancing kids, vacation, and endless summer BBQs! 

 

Are you looking for a weight loss program that provides support along with delicious, pre-planned meals so you can enjoy the most out of your summer? Contact Jenny Craig and book your free appointment to get started.

 

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Sources:

[1] http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/HealthyLiving/HealthyEating/Nutrition/Sugar-101_UCM_306024_Article.jsp#.Wyqty9Pwau5

[2] https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/educational/wecan/downloads/tip-sugar-in-drinks.pdf

[3] https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article/82/1/236S/4863399  

[4] http://www.cookinglight.com/eating-smart/smart-choices/larger-plate-sizes-affect-portion-control

Edited by Elisa - Jenny Craig


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