Stay on Track This Summer!

Don't let summer barbecues or picnics destroy your new diet and fitness goals. Here are a few tips to help you stick to the program and have a healthier and happier summer - it's easy!

It’s Memorial Day weekend and the unofficial kick-off of summer is here. That means, summer foods, drinks, outfits — and challenges. Summer has the ability to throw everyone off their game, but it doesn’t have to.

Let’s break down the biggest issue — food. I’m not going to call names, but some of you are planning on hitting a barbecue this weekend. Am I right? I can envision the usual spread: Burgers, hot dogs, corn on the cob, potato salad, chips — the whole nine yards. Anyone thinking they’ll have a run in with an ice cream cone, icy, or a fruity, syrupy frozen drink too? Yeah, I thought so. Here is an easy plan of attack to keep you healthy and happy this weekend:

Plan ahead. Let’s keep it simple. You can’t expect the world to be on the same page as you when it comes to your nutrition plan and goals. You also can’t expect to find a bounty of healthy, organic, and nutrient-packed foods at your friend’s cookout, your neighborhood block party, or along the beach boardwalk. On the other hand, you can bring healthy dishes to the cookout or block party and snacks in your cooler for the beach. All it takes is a little preparation. Prepare a veggie tray, fruit salad, or some healthy hummus to bring along. As long as there are nutritious and tasty options, you won’t resort to eating the fatty or sugary ones.

Don’t go hungry. When you’re attending a cookout or barbecue where you know unhealthy food will be prevalent, have a healthy meal or snack beforehand. That way you won’t arrive at the party completely ravenous and eat whatever is in sight.

Steer clear of alcohol. Not only is alcohol a ton of empty calories, it also weakens your willpower and inhibition. One minute you're having a good time socializing at the party; The next minute you’re hunched over the dessert table pigging out on cookies or brownies. Now, don't get me wrong — I LOVE my red wine, and I can knock back tequila shots with the best of them. But those things should be enjoyed once you're in maintenance mode, not while you're trying to lose weight. If you must give in to temptation, do so with extreme caution and just have one to two drinks.

It’s been said that “Discipline is about choosing between what you want now and what you want most!” This weekend, it’s all on you. What kind of summer will you have? One of regret and disappointment in yourself — or one that keeps you moving you towards your ultimate healthy goals? I know all of my rock stars will make the right decisions.

Here are a few recipes to help you stay on track this summer:

Almond-Chocolate Blondies
Black Bean Hummus
Raspberry, Avocado, and Mango Salad

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