Healthy Eating for the Summer Holiday Season
With the Fourth of July behind us and Labor Day Weekend quickly approaching, there’s still plenty of time to prepare yourself for surviving the summer holiday season. Summer holidays are a time for friends and family to gather to celebrate warm weather and spend time with one another. As a medical weight loss patient, these holiday barbecues and picnics can quickly lead to weight loss woes if you are unprepared. However, there are certain tricks weight loss patients can employ to ensure a healthy holiday season all summer long.
Follow these tips for weight loss success at summertime get-togethers this holiday season.
Don’t show up to a summer gathering hungry. When you show up to a gathering salivating at the sight of the buffet you’re more likely to overeat than if you were to enjoy a healthy snack beforehand. Before you head to a summertime party, eat a healthy, fibrous piece of fruit or veggie such as an apple or fresh broccoli and a big glass of water. This will help keep you full and satisfied and less likely to overeat or start snacking right away at the buffet line. Better yet, an OPTIFAST bar or Ready-to-Drink on the drive over will help control your appetite despite the smells and sights of a summer barbecue.
Carefully watch your portion sizes and avoid portion distortion. Many summer get-togethers are known to have large white paper plates so guests can fill up their plates a first time and then grab another for the next go-around. This endless portion parade can really be harmful for your waistline, so it’s best to pay extra attention to what and how much goes on your plate. If possible, try to grab a smaller paper plate to put your food on, like the ones set out for dessert. This will help you keep portion sizes to a minimum, especially if you don’t head for the buffet line more than once.
Make your one trip to the buffet count for weight loss. On top of choosing a smaller plate, only choose healthy fruits and vegetables that won’t thwart your weight loss goals. If it helps, try to do a lap down the buffet line before grabbing a plate to pin-point where the healthiest choices are for you to eat. Once you’ve filled up your plate—move away from the buffet table and avoid socializing while selecting your food. This may tempt you into piling up your plate again and can lead to overeating. To make sure that there are healthy choices, come to the picnic with a fruit or vegetable tray so that you are guaranteed to have something healthy to snack on .
Balance your holiday eating with your medical weight loss plan. Depending on your individualized weight loss plan you may be participating in a partial or full-meal OPTIFAST replacement program. Don’t be afraid to bring your OPTIFAST products with you to the holiday party. Not only will this keep you from indulging in the buffet, it will also help you establish healthy eating habits even when confronted with plenty of food temptations. There is no reason to conceal the fact that you are taking steps to be healthier. You can actually do your family and friends a favor by providing a good example. If you are uncomfortable with displaying your shakes, pour them into a water bottle, portable coffee cup or thermos to take with you.
Watch for high-caloric beverages. Many summer holiday parties offer guests sugary or otherwise unhealthy drinks to choose from like alcoholic beverages, lemonades, sweet teas and sodas. Make sure you avoid drinking such drinks as they can contain just as many calories as some food items at the buffet. Stick with water when at a party—you can refill your cup as many times as you’d like without having to count calories.
Keep up with your fitness program. Though it’s summer and time is precious, it’s still necessary for medical weight loss patients to engage in daily physical activity to maintain their weight loss efforts. Use the warm weather to your advantage to mix up your fitness routine for added fun. Instead of hitting the gym, try biking, hiking or swimming for physical activity.
Survive this summer holiday season by maintaining healthy eating habits at every social gathering you attend. Every effort counts when it comes to your medical weight loss program, so remember some of these tricks at the next summer get-together you’re invited to. If you find yourself having trouble staying on track give us a call or double up on group visits during the hard times.