The 4th of July is everyone’s favorite summer holiday, but it’s also a time when many fall off their health and fitness track. One bad weekend—or even day—can derail some a chunk of the progress you’ve made with your healthy lifestyle. The good news is, with a little forethought and planning, you can avoid being a buzzkill without sabotaging your efforts to stay fit and looking hot. Below are six fitness and diet hacks to help you stay on point this holiday weekend.
1. Don’t stray from the regime. Most of us work a little less on holidays like the 4th, which means we’ve got a little extra time in our schedule to hit the gym or our favorite exercise class. Going first thing in the morning to get the calorie engine burning started and give you energy to fuel your day. At the very least, go for a long run or walk to get the blood flowing.
2. Plan ahead. Instead of grazing everywhere you go, try to eat around your normal meal times and start your day off with a healthy breakfast with protein and fiber. This will help fill you up throughout the day so that you don’t overeat at that BBQ or swanky party. Research shows that people who eat a healthy breakfast consume less the rest of the day, so this is a good way to keep your calories in check. An omelet with vegetables is an excellent choice since eggs are a complete protein—they contain all of the nine essential amino acids are bodies need to build lean muscle and function properly.
3. Don’t show up hungry. Whatever you do, don’t hit any event on an empty stomach or you’ll be bound to overeat the minute you hit the spread. Have some healthy snacks like fruit or omega-3 rich nuts like almonds, cashews, walnuts or pistachios to satiate cravings throughout the day.
4. Size matters. Research shows that if you opt for smaller sized plates, you’ll eat less overall. Reach for the appetizer or dessert plate instead of a full-sized dinner plate. Eat slowly and by the time you finish, you probably won’t be tempted to fill your plate again.
5. Get physical. In addition to working out, squeeze in as much activity as possible throughout the day. If you hit a party where there’s a softball, football or Frisbee game in effect, jump in. Or try to ride your bike or walk at least one way to whichever parties or events you plan to attend.
6. Imbibe wisely. It’s easy to overindulge on holiday weekends, so do whatever it takes to keep your alcohol and beverage in check. Make a point to stick to low-calorie options, like a white wine spritzer or vodka soda. Avoid sugar-laden cocktails and those made with juice—their calorie content can be intense. Drink a glass of water between each drink to hydrate, fill you up and flush the toxins from your system.
Have a great 4th of July! For more fitness and diet hacks, click this link.