The word “holiday” is essentially synonymous with food. People get together and celebrate with unlimited drinking and eating. More often than not, the food and drinks are of the less-than-healthy varieties, especially during Labor Day celebrations.
People often refer to Labor Day as the last hurrah of summer. People bid adieu to the summer fun in the sun and prepare for cooler days. BBQs, football, shopping, potlucks, and beach parties go hand in hand with Labor Day. In fact, an average of 160 million Americans enjoy a cookout at some point during the holiday weekend.
When you come face to face with so many temptations, it’s hard to resist them or maintain discipline. Because most people fall into the trap of indulging more than they should during Labor Day weekend, we have detailed many helpful tips to stay healthy. Avoid diet pitfalls and stay on track. We believe in your willpower!
Don’t Skip Meals
For most holidays, including Labor Day weekend, the common thought is to skip meals to save room for the big feast. This is the worst approach you can have because skipping meals often leads to overeating. It’s better to have several nutritious snacks or smaller meals throughout the day before the potluck, party, or festivity. A handful of nuts, plate of fruit, fruit and vegetable smoothie, or even a small salad are excellent options to help you feel full and keep you from overindulging.
Consider Which Parties To Attend
There are parties that have every unhealthy food under the sun, and then there are parties with a more health-conscious theme. Everyone has friends who want to lose weight or put their health first. If you receive an invite from one of those friends, consider attending that Labor Day event versus the unhealthy one that is essentially a ticket to high blood pressure and weight gain. When you spend time with like-minded people who have more of a focus on health, you will benefit.
Hotdogs, burger patties, slabs of steak, and ribs aren’t the only things you can cook on the grill over the holiday weekend. You can shift your focus from meat to vegetables. Slice a head of cauliflower into thick steaks or grill portobello mushroom caps. Marinate veggie kabobs and then grill them for maximum flavor and a little char. There are many healthy ways to grill, so look up some recipes online and get creative with your food.
Survey The Spread Before You Load Up
When you go to a table of food without a plan in place, you will most likely grab a little bit of everything, and then some. Don’t just wander the food table and grab anything that looks appetizing. Scan the table and take a closer look at what you can eat. Come up with a plan for what to grab and then go in. Additionally, it’s beneficial to pinpoint the foods you really want. You don’t have to eat everything just because it’s there. Make an effort to control portion sizes and try to make at least 50% of your plate consist of vegetables.
Some people don’t count liquid calories, but knocking back a few alcohol beverages can quickly ramp up your caloric intake. It’s very common for people to drink alcohol at Memorial Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas celebrations. If you are trying to eat mindfully, though, it’s best to avoid alcohol. Not only does alcohol lead to excess food consumption, but it also impairs your ability to resist temptations. After a few drinks, the desserts you are trying to avoid may quickly find their way onto your plate.
Just Say No
The power of the word “no” is very real. You don’t always have to say yes to every food item in sight. For instance, if someone wants to offer you something that you know you should avoid, you can politely decline by saying, “It looks so tasty, but I’m too full right now. Thanks for asking, though.”