When someone has been really training hard and dieting, a day like Memorial Day can be as scary as a horror flick. No matter how great you’ve been all week long, one bad meal can blow the whole week. BUT Memorial Day can be one of the healthiest holidays of the year if you want it to be.
Think about it. Valentine’s Day is normally a fancy dinner out with high-cal gourmet foods and wine, Mother’s Day is often a buffet lunch after church, Thanksgiving is the biggest meal of the year with the most side dishes and desserts, and Christmastime is filled sweet treats. What makes Memorial Day have the advantage? It’s a grilling day!
Many other holidays are filled with casseroles and complicated recipes but Memorial Day is all about being simple. Grill up some meat and add a couple of simple side dishes and you are good to go!
Also, while many holidays are normally centered on laziness and food, Memorial Day is an active fun day. It’s a day that is normally filled with beach parties, parades, pool parties, boating, going to the park and just enjoying the great outdoors.
Cut calories on your Memorial Day:
2.) Keep sides simple, using whole foods. Make skewers with green pepper, onion, mushroom, pineapple and tomato. Grill asparagus or corn, and throw in a simple salad.
3.) Make fruits and veggies your finger food. Trade chips for carrots, celery, broccoli, cherry tomatoes and cauliflower, and spice it up with a nice greek yogurt dip or hummus. Fresh fruit always is refreshing on a hot summer day too. If you MUST have some salty snacks, throw in a few pretzel thins and nuts – but leave the chips at the grocery store because if you buy them, they WILL be eaten!
4.) Don’t drink your calories. There are a lot of misconceptions about alcoholic beverages. Just know that 1gm of alcohol has 7 calories, compared to a carbohydrate or a gram of protein having 4 calories per gram. It is VERY easy to consume a LOT of calories when you drink, so be wise. If you want to have a drink in your hand most of the day, choose a sipper – like a glass of Merlot. Avoid beer on a hot day because you will likely drink a lot of it because it’s cold and “refreshing”. Instead, drink a TON of water or sparkling water with lime. If you plan on drinking something special, drink one water for every beer or soda you drink to help you stay hydrated and to help cut calories.
5.) Keep a tally. If you haven’t been dieting – you can skip this step. BUT if you’ve been dieting hard and training even harder – this step is a MUST. Keep a tally on your calories to help you hold yourself accountable. If you don’t, you’ll likely eat twice as much. Look at labels, look up calories on your iphone and keep a running total for the day. You’ll be amazed how much this helps keep your eating under control.
6.) Eat first. So you have no control over what you will be around because you are going to someone else’s house? I have an easy answer – EAT! Yep, you hear right – eat or have a big protein shake before you go to their house. You’ll be much less likely to eat their garbage and you’ll be less focused on food.
7.) Don’t feel sorry for yourself. If you are at a party and you see everyone else eating and drinking whatever they want, don’t feel sorry for yourself. Instead, realize everyone is looking at your discipline in admiration. They see a determined, focused and controlled person. If people would be honest, most of the people around you would probably admit they envy your dedication. Remember, you never know who YOU’LL inspire. Stay focused and don’t give in like anyone else. You aren’t just anyone other Joe-Schmo! You are a success story in the making! And when you reach your goal and get that rockin’ body, I don’t think anyone will be feeling sorry for you then – and they’ll remember the time you stuck with your guns on Memorial Day. (and you’ll be hoping the next holiday party is a pool party so you can show off your new hot bod!) 🙂
Happy Memorial Day Everyone!