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Five Ways to Keep it Light on Labor Day

Holidays seem to always be centered around food, and Labor Day is no exception. What better way to soak up the last few days of summer than with  food, family and friends? While it is important to enjoy holidays and outings with friends, it is also important to keep your diet in check. One splurge day can cancel out any weight loss efforts you made throughout the week. According to an article from Prevention magazine, researchers found that most hosts serve high fat foods and half of guests head back for seconds with some going for thirds. Those helpings can really add up to more than 500 additional calories! So, what can you do to ensure your family and your guests can rest assured they won't wreck their diet this labor day? Check out these five tips for creating a healthier holiday that you can feel good about!

1. Load the grill with veggies and lean protein 
Veggies have fiber, vitamins and minerals. Because they are so nutrient dense, they make a wonderful side items for any cookout. Fiber helps fill us up faster and keep us fuller longer. Lean proteins, like chicken and 85% or leaner beef or turkey, provide satisfying and filling protein that also helps slow digestion and keep us full.

2. Go light on the cocktails
Try making a more calorie friendly version of your favorite cocktail like the Strawberry Daiquiri I made for the 4th of July. Making a hard lemonade? Use Diet Sprite and Crystal Light Lemonade to make a sweet but not so sinful cocktail combination. If you are a guest at a party and there are no light cocktails available, limit yourself to one to save hundreds of calories.

3. Go {Skinny} Dipping 
Dips, and other mayonnaise based items are often the centerpiece at gatherings. They are already high in calories and then dip is eaten with chips, right? Diet #fail in the works. Try making a lightened up dip that everyone can still enjoy, like Skinny Taste's Taco Dip or even Buffalo Chicken Dip. If you are a guest at a party, just skip the creamy type dishes and opt for more vinegar based ones like Texas Caviar. You'll save calories and enjoy your food at the same time!

4. Be Active
Friends who play together, stay together so get out and burn calories with friends. Most of the time, parties are filled with kids running around and adults sitting around talking. Join the kids! Get an adult against kids soccer game going or challenge them to a game of badminton. An after dinner neighborhood walk could be nice or cool off in the lake. At the very least, stand and talk with your friends, rather than sitting and burn an average of 200 more calories every 3 hours.

5. Say No to Seconds
Usually, one plate of food fills us up. We just don't know it until after we have eaten the second plate and stand up to find out that we are "Thanksgiving Stuffed". It takes our stomach about 20 minutes to let our brain know that we are full, if we keep eating through that signal, we miss it altogether. After eating one plate of food, wait 30 minutes before deciding whether you are still hungry or not. In the meantime, drink a bottle of water. Chances are, after 30 minutes you will be distracted talking and enjoying company to even think about food again. If you are truly still hungry, go back for only the fruits or vegetables that were offered.


I hope this helps as you plan your Labor Day Weekend.Have a safe and happy Labor Day! I will be working until noon then heading out with friends to finish the day at the lake! See ya Tuesday.

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