Q. Glen, What should I do about ny diet on the 4th of July?
A. With Independence Day falling on a Wednesday this year, many Americans will take some extra time off in order to extend that celebration of patriotism. Unfortunately, that can mean greater challenges for your weight-loss efforts.
After all, if you go a little overboard on hamburgers and ice cream on the Fourth, it can be easier to end up ditching your healthy intentions for the rest of the holiday.
Luckily, you can get around those holiday food red flags and create your own kind of Independence Day, celebrating your sovereignty from fat traps of Fourth of Julys gone by. Follow these five strategies for help.
1. Limit leftovers. That creamy potato salad from the cookout is bad enough on Tuesday, but it’s weight gain waiting to happen if you keep it around for the next three days. The same goes for leftover desserts and other high-fat party fare. That doesn’t mean you have to waste the food, but aim to limit how much gets stored in your refrigerator by sending wrapped up extras home with guests or leaving them with your host.
2. Don’t succumb to kid pressure. If being at home for a couple of extra days means spending more time with the kids, it can also mean eating more of their food. Try pre-empting their requests for burgers or macaroni and cheese with some fun ideas for lower-fat meals, such as pizzas made with low-fat tortillas, veggies and part-skim mozzarella, or grilled chicken fajitas. (Just be sure to hold the sour cream, shredded cheese and guacamole.)
3. Build structure. You probably already know that weekends are the hardest part of the week for dieting. That’s partially because of the lack of structure in the day, which can turn meals into long snacking sessions. Make a concerted effort to plan activities and chores so that meals can be scheduled around them with a set beginning and ending. If you have scheduled events and outings, you’ll eat less throughout the day.
4. Try creative calorie burning. Instead of throwing the same old backyard barbecue, fill the weekend with creative outings and events that involve exercise. For example, host an all-American themed party, like an old-fashioned barn dance or sock hop. Have everyone come in costume, put on some music and get moving.Or, if dancing isn’t your thing, plan a water balloon toss with the kids and get involved chasing them around. You’ll have fun and cool off, and they’ll get a kick out of having you play with them. Tell your guests to bring gloves and bats and have a parents-versus-kids softball game. Set up equipment for horseshoes or badminton, or plan to have your party at the local public pool where everyone can get wet and get a workout (get permission, of course).
5. Get off to a smart start. If you don’t overdo it on Wednesday, you’ll be less likely to throw up your hands in frustration, bailing out on all plans eat well. Even if you do have a barbecue or picnic planned, a few simple substitutions can seriously minimize the damage done by that holiday picnic or barbecue. Try these "instead of" options to seriously slim your recipes:
Instead of... Use...
Mayonnaise in potato salad... fat-free sour cream
Ice-cream sandwiches... frozen fudge bars or fruit bars
Hot dogs... low-fat turkey dogs or chicken sausages
Soda... orange or lemon seltzer
Potato chips... air-popped popcorn or baked tortilla chips
Fried chicken... skinless grilled chicken breast with BBQ sauce
American cheese on burgers... low-fat cheddar
Burgers... shrimp kebobs
Homemade iced tea... Snapple unsweetened iced tea
Chocolate chip cookies... Fat-Free Fig Newtons
Sheet cake... angel food cake with berries.Any personal health questions or problems mental or physical or before starting any diet or exercise program.Please consult your physician !
Wishing You A Happy 4th AND Great Health!
Any questions? Ask Glen