We often go all out here in America for the final unofficial weekend of the summer. Thus, the Labor Day long weekend is often wrought with a full lineup of cocktails, barbecues, pot lucks, and campfires. Rich drinks and eats may go hand in hand with fireworks and long weekend celebrations, but they can pose disastrous to all of your healthy eating goals.
Here’s how you can take part in the weekend festivities while avoiding all the Labor Day weekend dietary landmines.
1. Be Active as Much as Possible
Long weekends beckon us to sunbathe on the beach with a book or swing all day in a hammock with a bottomless pitcher of cocktails. But remember, you are in control of your own weekend…the key word being “control”. So take it and find every excuse to be active. If you plan to enjoy a piece of granny’s peach pie at dinner, go for a run or a long hike on the beach in the afternoon, or swim and paddle board before your meal.
2. Carbohydrate Out
What I’m referring to is dropping the white hamburger, hot dog, and bread options from your meals whenever possible. Processed, refined carbohydrate can be a source of empty carbohydrates and weight gain. So enjoy that burger, chicken breast, sausage, or mushroom bun-less. You can also savor it on a bed of leafy greens, or to make it portable and wrap it in a big kale or romaine leaf with all the healthy fixings you normally enjoy.
3. Resist the Urge to Skip Meals
The ideology that “I can eat and drink whatever I want at tonight’s BBQ as long as I skip breakfast and lunch” is a tricky, and often dangerous promise. After all, this thinking doesn’t often balance out, especially if you’re hungry and not thinking with your head, but your ravenous appetite. Starving yourself will cause your blood sugar to drop, and you’ll be so hungry you’ll almost certainly overindulge.
4. Drink This, Not That
Well, you can also choose to imbibe simple, lighter beverage options this long weekend to avoid sugar- and caloric-soaring cocktails. For instance, rather than mixing up a fruity concoction full of syrups and fake fruity liquors (i.e., mojitos, sangria, mimosas)—stick to simple, lower calorie sippers such as white wine spritzers or vodka (or gin) and soda with a splash of fresh lime.