If you’re generally a health eater, going to a Fourth of July party can be frustrating. While there might be a few healthy options, you’ll also lots of mayonnaise-based salads, desserts and fatty meats that aren’t low-calorie. Of course it’s fine to splurge a little, but these tips can help you stay on track if you want to have a healthy 4th of July.
If you think there won’t be many healthy options at the 4th of July party, have a light snack before you go. This fills you up so you won’t eat as much at the cookout. And it’s healthy so you won’t load up on calories.
Bring Your Own
When you’re not hosting the 4th of July party, you have no control over the menu. But that doesn’t mean you can’t make your own healthy contribution. Bring a few healthy side dishes, such as a quinoa salad, fruit salad or fresh vegetables, to share with everyone. The host will appreciate your gesture, and you guarantee yourself at least a few healthy options. If you know the host is grilling, you might ask if it’s okay to bring something of your own to throw on the grill, such as a portobello mushroom, a piece of fish or some lean chicken.
Scan the Options
Before you fill your plate, scan the options available. You might be able to create your own healthy options by pairing up a few of the items on the buffet. For example, if the offerings include a lettuce salad and grilled chicken, put them together to make a chicken salad instead of eating the chicken on a bun.
Just because you want to eat healthy doesn’t mean you have to give up everything. Instead of scooping up a heaping pile of potato salad, serve yourself a few bites. Do this with all of the food so you can get a sampling without going overboard on foods that aren’t healthy. Serve yourself larger portions of healthier dishes, like fresh fruit or vegetables.
Alcoholic beverages and fruity drinks are often part of a 4th of July celebration, but those drinks can pack calories that you don’t even think about. Before you reach for another drink, decide if you really want it. Try drinking a glass of water between other beverages. You stay hydrated and keep your overall calorie intake lower.
It’s tempting to pile your plate with all of the yummy food and munch right through it while socializing at a Fourth of July gathering. But that type of mindless eating often leads to eating too much. It’s okay to chat and eat, but pay more attention to what you’re putting in your mouth. Eat slowly and pay attention so signs that you’ve enjoyed enough of the 4th of July food.