How to manage summer drinks, get-togethers and BBQs.
We celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, graduations and milestones with copious amounts of food, drinks and desserts. It’s familiar and comfortable and what you have always done but how do you combine that with your new health and fitness goals? How do you continue to have a social life while sticking to your plan?
Here are some tips to conquer the summer events and parties…
Plan. If you know you are going to be meeting friends for dinner or will be attending a BBQ, plan your day accordingly. Check the website of the restaurant you will be dining at and pick your meal before you go and stick to it. Most online menus have nutritional information and calorie counts so find a “healthy” option that aligns with your goals and that you know you’ll enjoy. Be the first one to order and don’t let your friends influence your decision, do what is best for you and try new things!
If you are going to indulge in a drink or two, stick with low calorie options rather than sugary mixed drinks or full-strength beer. A few suggestions would be vodka and soda water, Captain Morgan and diet coke, Gin and diet tonic, skinny margaritas (Little Angies), light beer, dirty martinis. A single margarita from your local Mexican restaurant can have close 1,000 calories in one drink! If you’re making drinks at home, I like to use things like Mio or Kill Cliff to mix with my alcohol, get creative. Also, to prevent a hangover, have a full glass of water between every drink.
If you are attending a potluck or BBQ, have a snack before you go so that you aren’t starving when you get there. Also, bring a dish to share that aligns with your goals, something like a veggie tray, kabobs or a fruit bowl. When you’re snacking, try to stray away from the processed carbs. By picking foods that are higher in protein and fat you will slow your digestion down and stay fuller longer. Snack on things like wings, veggies and hummus, nuts, veggie salads and different kinds of meat. Have a burger without the bun and try to stray away from the chips, breads, pastries and fruit salads. Fill your plate one time and walk away from the food to prevent over snacking.
Lastly, if you’re planning on having dessert, pick one and enjoy a single serving. Life is about balance and as long as you’re not indulging every day, a dessert here and there won’t ruin your goals. If you know you have an event coming up, try to eat clean and on plan during the week and save your “cheat” for that event. Stick to you plan the rest of the day and get right back on plan the next day. Try not to let one bad meal turn into a bad weekend or bad week. Enjoy time with your family and friends and indulge in moderation.