Fit Latina Tips for the Week:
With Independence Day happening this week, summer is in full swing. . .which means so are seasonal parties and barbeques. The last thing a person wants is to have to be super conscious about what they are eating and being the annoying, miserable calorie counter at these events – after all, they are meant for celebration. Here are some easy tips to keep in mind at your next party to keep your health and fitness on track.
Go healthy before everything else. If your summer parties are anything like the ones I attend, food is usually served buffet style. With so many options, it can be easy to totally undo your entire day in one trip to the buffet line. Don’t load everything you see on your plate and dig in, instead, pick your favorite diet friendly options first. Pick a lean protein – grilled chicken, turkey burgers, turkey sausage, etc – and your healthier sides – maybe some salad, or some corn, even rice and beans. Don’t overdo it on serving sizes either. If you are still hungry after you finish your first serving, or you are desperately craving something you didn’t eat yet, give yourself a little sample. While you want to be good to yourself health-wise, you don’t want to leave a party feeling totally deprived.
Choose your alcohol wisely. One of the most common pieces of advice for weight loss is to cut out drinking. While I am not taking away from the fact that most frozen, sugary summer drinks – margaritas, piña coladas, daiquiris, etc – are chock full of empty calories, I am also a believer that there is still a place for alcohol in a healthy lifestyle. Stick to clear wines and light beers. Mix flavored seltzer with vodka. Be extremely choosy over the mixers you are using. While you are partying in the summer, it is especially important to stay hydrated so make sure you are drinking water between your drinks and most importantly: pace yourself.
Avoid Mayo. I’m looking at you, potato salad. Mayo tacks on huge amounts of empty calories that do nothing to fill you up. Choose the leaner side dishes. If you are bringing a side dish with you, swap the mayo out and use plain yogurt or Greek yogurt instead.
Go easy on dessert and sneak in fresh fruit. There is no need to ruin your efforts once the desserts are served. Cut yourself a small piece of cake and really enjoy it as you eat it. Better yet, bring dessert so you know there will still be something sweet and delicious. My favorite is taking fruit – bananas, grapes, strawberries, bite-size pieces of kiwi – and putting them on a skewer. Drizzle them with dark chocolate and freeze them. It’s good for you and delicious – plus the chocolate will make you feel like you are really treating yourself to something really indulgent.
Mingle. It’s a social event, right? Walk around, work the room, and stand while eating. Communicating with others has so many benefits so really work the party. Reacquaint yourself with old friends and meet new people. If you stand while you eat, you will automatically put more manageable serving sizes on your plate. By changing up who you are hanging out with at various events, you are staying fresh which means you are far less likely to nosh out of boredom and monotony.