Just got invited to the barbecue of the year, huh? But you started that new healthy lifestyle thing, so what now?
Survive it. Remember, YOU are the boss of your palate. Nothing makes its way pass your lips until you give the go-ahead. Wear that “S” on your chest proudly, Superwoman. And realize that if you take the tips below seriously, you’ll get through it.
Move your ass
You should exercise, really. Not because you’re trying to burn the bad calories you might eat. That’s impossible. But, because it will put you on a healthy path for the day. Try doing cardio and strength training first thing in the morning. This is the time when your body will burn the most fat and get you ahead of the game.
Don’t go hungry
The morning of said barbeque, make sure you have a good and hearty breakfast option , and then a small snack a few hours later before the event. That snack before you head out will help curb your appetite and keep you in check throughout the day. Try anything from fresh fruit to a cup of yogurt and granola to a handful of almonds.
Take healthy food with you
It’s good etiquette to bring something to the party. Don’t be the triflin’ friend! Go bearing a healthy meal that you and others might enjoy. Talk to the host and offer to be on salad duty. Offer to bring chicken and veggie kabobs for the grill. Whatever you choose, make sure it’s on your meal plan. That way you know you can indulge while going lighter on other dishes that you don’t know the contents of.
Drink more water
Water can be your saving grace at a big feast. Whether it’s hot or not, you need hydration. Not only that, but you save calories and feel fuller longer. In the morning, down 8 ounces of water with lemon to help boost your fat burn for the day. Drink up, drink up!
Don’t hang out by the food
OK, when you get there, do a survey of the spread. Load up on protein – your fish, your chicken, not the hotdogs. Load up on that salad you brought to the party. Have a small-ish sampling of the pasta salad, macaroni and cheese, or other carby dishes you desire. If you have a piece of cake, make it a slither. Then walk away. Walk away from the food and go socialize with your friends. Do anything but stand or sit near a snack table.
Don’t feel guilty for indulging too much
Just prepare yourself. Do as much as you can to stay in control. If you overdo it, don’t be too hard on yourself that you can’t get up the next day and get back in the game. The real failure comes when you give up. And you’re Superwoman, so that ain’t happenin’.
Lauren Wilson is Crush Magazine’s chief marketing officer.