5 Tips to Navigate Labor Day BBQ
Labor Day weekend always has a bitter sweet feeling as it is almost the end of Summer. But at the same time it is a huge feasting and drinking time with all the parties, fun gatherings and BBQs. Watching what you eat and drink can be very challenging and sometimes feels like navigating a field of dietary landmines and traps. SO, if you have a busy holiday weekend ahead of you, let’s try a different approach. This time turn it into an opportunity to have fun with family and friends in a healthy way, without feeling guilty when it’s over.
1. Don’t skip meals
This is probably the most important tip! Even if you wake up late or later than you usually do, make sure you have breakfast! Hydrate when you wake up and have something simple such as a protein smoothie, toasts with almond butter or an omelette. If you skip breakfast, you will be starving and will be ravenous at your next opportunity to eat which might trigger bad food choices.
2. Avoid piling up food at BBQs
I know, it’s there in front of you and it looks really good, and you’re really hungry so you want it all! My recommendation is to plan around strategic food choices: start with your greens and veggies and fill at least half of you plate with them. Then add some grains if available such as rice or quinoa for example. Then add your animal protein which should represent 30% of your plate. If you fill your plate twice, use the same strategy for your second plate and remember to eat slowly and take the time to enjoy the food. Avoid low quality and processed foods at any cost as you don’t want to get into a food coma or feel sick and extra full.
3. Alcohol is not your friend
At least in large quantities! Some nutritionist and integrative doctors recommend banning alcohol completely from a healthy lifestyle – but I don’t believe in that if there is no medical reason. I always advocate for balance and moderation which I think are more realistic. Over the 3 day weekend, control your alcohol intake and try to limit it to no more than 2 to 3 drinks a day. Make sure you drink water profusely throughout the day to stay hydrated.
Remember that weekends are meant to relax first and foremost. So although it is really nice to hop from one BBQ to another or from event to event, it can get overwhelming and exhausting. Pace yourself and don’t overdo it and most importantly rest and have fun!!
5. Stay active
Take your workout with you or take this opportunity to do something completely different. Either way, stay active while away and make sure you move your body!