5 Tips for a Healthy July 4th
by D.C. Tworek, NASM CPT, Nutrition Specialist
Have a happy and healthy Fourth of July with these 5 holiday cookout wellness tips:
- Hydration. The best 4th of July parties often take place under a shining sun. Dehydration can occur easily at any age. Make sure you drink plenty of hydrating fluids – sodas, coffee, energy drinks and alcohol don’t count. If you are indulging in soft drinks and alcohol, be sure to drink extra water to offset the dehydrating effects of those beverages.
- Slim side dishes. If you get invited to a cookout or other Fourth of July style event, be the one to bring a healthy side dish. Salad, fruits, a veggie tray or other lean delights will help bring balance to classic sides that are loaded with fat and sugar.
- Portion control. Grab a smaller plate and then head through the buffet line. Studies have shown that using a smaller plate will likely result in eating less. Fill up on salads and veggies first and then indulge in a hot dog or barbeque meal. You will eat less of the “bad” stuff if you’re already filled with fiber-rich veggies.
- Snacking. Step away from the snack table. Mindless munching can be more detrimental to your diet that a full sit down meal with all the trimmings. Why? Because most people will snack for hours, almost unconsciously and then sit down to enjoy a meal as though they haven’t eaten for hours. You end up consuming two to three times as many calories. Avoid the finger foods and spend time chatting with friends and family.
- Dessert. There is never a shortage of red, white and blue desserts at any July 4th celebration. Take advantage of low-calorie sweets, like blueberries and strawberries topped with a little Cool Whip (a July 4th staple.) You don’t have to have the sugary cakes and icing to indulge your sweet tooth and save your waist line.