This week, all of America will join together in celebrating Independence Day and honoring our great nation. Amidst all the patriotism and national pride, it’s also a festive holiday filled with family, friends, food and fun activities. Whether you’re attending a neighborhood backyard BBQ, going camping in the great outdoors or hitting up a street party to gaze at the fireworks which light up the sky, being able to celebrate our country’s independence is a real treat!
But like most holidays, all the fun celebration can pose challenges if you’re concerned about weight management. At get-togethers, large amounts of food are readily available and alcohol can be abundant. The summer heat can also entice many people to stay inside and gather around the television or pool table. So, how can you stay on-track with your weight and health?
Tips for a Healthy Independence Day
Get Festive with Your Own Healthy Dishes
Attending a party? High-fat, high-calorie dishes like cheeseburgers and creamy dips are pretty common. If you want to make sure there’s something healthy to snack on, bring your own dish for others to share. Maybe it’s a watermelon, blueberry and Feta salad or a lightened dip made with Greek yogurt instead of sour cream. Even a veggie tray with low-fat dressing can be a big hit. Festive appetizers and main dishes are a great way to contribute to a potluck.
Carry Around a Colorful Travel Bottles
Staying hydrated is a must, but it’s easy to forget. While everyone else is drinking from plastic bottles or soda cans, bring a colorful travel bottle that makes it fun to drink water. For consistent drinking, try to find one with a clip at the top to attach to your purse or belt loop.
Set a Limit on Alcoholic Beverages
Alcohol is fun to drink on the holidays, but it’s full of extra carbs, sugars and calories. It also dehydrates you. Before your celebrations start, set a limit on your alcohol intake. Maybe it’s no more than three beers or cocktails. Instead, fill-up on water to hydrate and re-energize.
Eat before You Go Anywhere
Don’t want the hassle of buying or preparing food, but don’t want to be tempted by dishes that others bring? Eat your own healthy snacks and meals before you set-out for the day. Or, keep a snack pack along with you to munch on when you feel hunger strike.
Celebrate at the Pool, Beach or a Park Lake
Swimming is a classic summer activity that not only gets you moving, but keeps you cool. To get away from the party foods and fit-in some physical activity, jump in the water and make a splash!
Skip the Greasy Finger Foods
Everyone loves small bites. They’re tasty and convenient. But rather than loading up on buffalo chicken dip or pigs in a blanket, make an effort to keep your finger foods healthy. Try snacks like edamame, hummus and veggies, low or no-sodium mixed nuts, Caprese bites (tomato, Mozzarella and pesto), a colorful fruit platter or homemade guacamole.
Relax, Have Fun and Enjoy the Celebration!
Above all else, de-stress and enjoy your holiday. Everyone needs a break from their normal routine every now and then. Use this day to reset and rejuvenate, but feel confident in keeping your health goals in check. Happy Independence Day from the Your Weight Matters Campaign!