Friday, June 29, 2012

7 Ways to Healthily Indulge at 4th of July Parties

Written by University of Houston Dietetic Intern Ashley Eaves.

One of the most enjoyable parts of social events and holidays is the delicious and exciting food. But, if you are trying to be a smart and healthy eater and athlete, it can also be one of the most stressful parts. How can you enjoy these events and this great food without the added pounds? Follow theses tips to learn how to healthily indulge at this year’s 4th of July party:

1.      Eat a good breakfast. A good breakfast might just be the best secret to your stomach! Give your body some energy and some nutrition to start the day and you will be less likely to crave an overflowing plateful of food or a fist full of treats.
2.      Share! Understandably, you hope the molten chocolate lava cake has your name on it. However, a few bites will be equally satisfying and taste just as good as the whole thing. Sharing allows others to enjoy the experience and the calories!
3.      Keep moving. Have a healthy balance by walking around and mingling instead of sitting next to the buffet table.
4.      Don’t skip meals. Like many, you may decide to skip lunch so you can have room to eat more at the event. Don’t! By skipping a meal, your body will become ravenous and you are likely to overeat when you get there. Instead, eat your meals as usual and serve yourself just enough to satisfy you at the party.
5.      Serve smaller portions. When you begin filling your plate with the tasty treats, keep the portions in check. Enjoy a small taste of these pleasurable foods and stop when you are satisfied. If you are still hungry, eat a balanced meal...don’t fill up on treats!
6.      Avoid excessive trimmings. There is butter for the bread, ranch for the veggies, and BBQ sauce for the chicken fingers. Go easy on the condiments and dips. A little bit can go a long way and can save you from excess calories.
7.      Don’t taste everything! An open buffet of delicious looking and smelling foods can tempt you to sample each and every one. This is likely to cause you to overeat. Instead, ignore dishes you have frequently or that you typically don’t like. Instead, focus on a few of your favorites. This will help with digestion and with your goal of moderation!

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