Holidays such as Memorial Day, 4th of July, Labor Day, or any picnic holiday can cause breakdowns in our otherwise healthy Take Shape for Life eating plan. It is extremely important to be very aware that picnics can pack thousands of calories that we would not normally indulge in. So, what should you do?
1. Continue to practice your healthy eating habits on the picnic day. Do not skip meals or save calories for the “big meal”. That sets you up to overeat!
2. If going to a party or picnic, offer to bring an appetizer and side dish. This will guarantee you there will be healthy choices for you.
3. Be watchful of your portions and choose NOT to have the dessert! Instead, maybe bring a box of sugar free popsicles to share with the crowd or have a cup of coffee instead. If you're not in the weight loss phase enjoy dessert but be mindful of your portion sizes and how much exercise or activity you're doing to burn it off.
4. Make sure that you do not slack off from your daily exercise routine the day of the picnic. Try adding 10 or 15-minute brisk walks twice that day with available family members or the partygoers. Plan active activities such as crochet, bike riding, or taking a hike instead of sitting around and talking or watching TV.
5. If you are throwing the party, have lots of vegetables available, instead of chips only. Prepare lower fat dips and offer salsa. Explain to your guests in advance your determination to make this a healthier holiday celebration, and ask them to keep this in mind when preparing any dish they may be bringing.
6. Stay away from high calorie beverages such as sodas, juices, smoothies, and blended coffee drinks. There are nearly 150 calories in one 12-ounce can of soda or juice. Smoothies and coffee drinks are often 250-500 calories, excluding the whipped cream. Alcohol is packed full of calories and carbs. It can also cause you to let down your defenses and overeat or make poor food choices. All of these indulgences will kick you out of the fat burning stage (if in weight loss phase) and you’ll set yourself back 3 days on your journey to your goal weight.
7. Make sure to have a Medifast supplement before going to the picnic... ALWAYS plan ahead.
8. At the picnic choose healthy foods and stay away from the chips and bread and corn.
9. If the holiday party is at your house, send some of the left-overs home with your guests, especially the desserts!
10. Remember to eat slowly, which will help you to eat less and feel full and satisfied.
11. During holiday weekends, make your goal to maintain your weight and not to gain any!
12. Be positive. Don’t let your weight and cravings take control of you.
13. Holiday traveling, don’t forget to pack convenient snacks! Put healthy snacks and meal replacements in zip lock bags and use them to cushion around items in your suitcase. Also bring a cooler full of fresh vegetables and water.
14. Remember the reason for the season and focus on 'fellowship' and not on 'food'!
15. Habits are habit forming... People form habits but habits transform people! Let's Take Shape for Life! Let’s transform our thinking about what we eat and why we eat it. Let’s make it a habit to select healthy foods as part of our ‘prescription for life’!
Have a Happy and Healthy Spring and Summer Picnic Season!