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3 Ways to Eat Smart This Weekend

Whether you’re headed out of town, going to or throwing a 4th of July barbecue, or just staying home, don’t let stress about what you’ll eat or how you’ll overcome temptations get the best of you. If you find weekends like this a challenge when it comes to food and fitness, here are three steps to help you keep your weight in check while soaking in some summer fun:

1) Stay ahead of the game. Anticipate and plan your schedule for meals, snacks, and activities. The more you know your schedule ahead of time, the more in charge you’ll feel about your food and fitness decisions. Make sure to eat every 3 to 4 hours.  If you’re traveling or on the go, pack up a few grab and go snacks for the weekend—for example, some fresh fruit and baggies filled with 1-2 tablespoons each of dried fruit, whole grain cereal or low fat granola, and nuts–walnuts, cashews, almonds, peanuts, or any combo. These snack pack in protein, fiber, and healthy fats and are easy to nosh on (they also make great alternatives to a candy bar or bag of chips you might otherwise grab when hunger strikes).

2) Follow the one-plate, one-drink rule. Whether you’re at a barbecue, restaurant, or home, try to limit yourself to one plate of food AND one calorie-containing drink (including wine, beer, or any other alcoholic beverage). Assess the food situation before you fill your plate or order your entree. Share appetizers and entrees, order two small appetizers for your meal, or stick to one entree. Eat only the amount of food that can fit on one dinner plate–that will often mean leaving food over! When you’re eating, remember that this is NOT your last meal, and if that when you really savor and taste each and every bite, you’ll get the most enjoyment at the beginning of the meal when you really focus on it. When you’re done eating, pop in a strong breath mint or have a full glass of water or seltzer with a splash of fruit juice or some fresh fruit slices to signal the end of the meal.

3) Minimize temptations. If you’re throwing your own holiday party or going to someone else’s home and want to buy or make some treats (like pie, cookies, or tarts), try to make or buy the kinds of items that you like the least (or that you know you won’t want to overeat). You could also bring some fresh in-season fruit (perhaps arranged in kebabs or simple slices) to have for dessert–a great way to add sweetness to meal and meet your daily quota for healthful fruit.

I hope your fourth of July is a blast and that you can really eat and enjoy while spending well-deserved down time with your friends and family. Let me know how you make out this weekend–and what helped you eat and enjoy stress-free!

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About The Author

Elisa Zied is a nationally recognized and award-winning health and nutrition expert, author, speaker, and spokesperson. A trusted source of food, nutrition, and health information, Elisa has garnered millions of media impressions, lending her expertise and real-world perspective to dozens of TV shows, web sites, news organizations and magazines. She’s the author of four nutrition books. An avid walker, she loves motivating others to #moveitorloseit. A book lover, she recently earned a certificate in children’s literature from Stony Brook Southampton and is currently working on several young adult novels. You can find her previous Food, Fitness & Fiction posts here and connect with her on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

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