Four Fabulous Fat-Loss Tactics For A Great Holiday Weekend!
By Cassandra Forsythe-Pribanic, PhD, RD
In just a few days, all American’s will be celebrating one of the biggest holidays in the country: The Fourth (4th) of July. In Canada, on July 1st, Canadians will be celebrating Canada day.
Independence Day, better known as the Fourth of July, is a special holiday in the United States commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, which declared independence from Great Britain.
It signifies a great time for the USA and reminds Americans of a lifestyle they cherish the most: Freedom and Independence.
For Canadians, Canada Day celebrating the anniversary of the July 1, 1867, enactment of the British North America Act (today called the Constitution Act, 1867), which united three British colonies into a single country, called Canada, within the British Empire.
So, like any other party (but, in this case, it’s a really big party, celebrated across both countries), American’s and Canadian’s love to indulge in various types of party food.
Items like soft drinks, chips, hot dogs, burgers, cakes, pies, macaroni salad, to name a few.
Unfortunately, most of these types of foods are ones that are contributing to both these country’s rapidly growing waistline, and most of them should be avoided.
But, as is typical with most parties, we like to have (and eat) food to make the occasion even better.
However, we can make better choices and avoid the guilt and backtrack that happens to most people after a big party celebration such as this one.
In order to make sure that you don’t gain extra pounds from a weekend of bad-calorie foods, closely follow these four fabulous fat-loss tactics. Then, on Tuesday you’ll still feel fit and sexy instead of lethargic and bloated, like the rest of your party-going friends.
#1 – Avoid high-carbohydrate, processed foods.
Yes, everyone likes a great burger, but you really don’t need the white-flour, sugar-stuffed burger buns.
Same thing goes with macaroni salad, pretzels, cupcakes and other easy-to-eat foods that are made primarily of flour, water, sugar and/or salt; none of them do your body any good at all. They’re very high in simple carbohydrates and low in beneficial nutrients that do nothing but make you crave more of these types of foods.
If you’re going to enjoy a nice, juicy, free-range beef burger, or organic hot dog, do your body a favor, and skip the booty-building bun.
And, if you want a side salad to go with your burger, choose one made from whole vegetables, legumes, or real whole grains, like a 3-bean salad, or shredded carrot salad, or quinoa salad, instead of a pasty pasta dish.
Even for dessert – skip the cupcakes and pie and go with fresh fruit, like watermelon or berries – you can even dip them in a little real cream, or melted dark chocolate for an extra-special guilt-free treat.
#2 – Avoid Diet Soda
Most people still think diet soda is good for them, but recent research has just come out showing us that this is not true.
One study released by investigators at the American Diabetes Association meeting followed over 400 diet soda drinkers for 10 years and found that their waist sizes increased 70% more than non-diet soda drinkers.
Overall, people who drank two or more diet sodas per day increased their waist sizes five times more than those who avoided diet drinks entirely.
So, if you’re looking for something to quench your thirst on this hot summer day, don’t reach for a drink laced with artificial sweeteners. This means avoid most drinks that say “diet’ and/or have ingredients such as Splenda, Sucralose, Aspartame, Neotame, and/or Acesulfame K.
Instead enjoy unsweetened chilled ice tea, sparkling seltzer water, or pure filtered water. If you desire a touch of sweetness, add a splash of 100% fruit juice, or a touch of 100% pure honey or maple syrup.
The sweetener Stevia is also used now in some sparkling drinks, such as Zevia and some natural tea beverages. Look for these as well, but consume them in moderation, just like you would with any other sweet drink.
#3 –Eat a Variety of Vegetables
Most Americans eat too few vegetables as it. So, why not try and add more, especially on a day when food intake is encouraged?
When preparing your party snacks, ensure to include a big tray of fresh cut veggies, such as cucumbers, celery, summer squash, mushrooms and tomatoes.
Also, an added bonus of these veggies listed is that they are low in calories and high in water, to keep you hydrated, satisfied and bloat-free.
And, since most people like to dip their veggies, add in a container of natural, olive-oil based hummus, which is rich in healthy monounsaturated fats, protein, and fiber (from the olive oil and chickpeas).
Avoid high-calorie, or sugary creamy white dips, like some dressings, and instead make your own with plain low-fat organic yogurt (free of added hormones) and fresh herbs.
#4 – Move Your Body!
Take advantage of your day off from work and get away from your normal, everyday seated position.
Do your best to stay active all day, such as playing a good game of beach volleyball or Frisbee. There’s even lawn bowling, croquette, and lawn sky darts that anyone can play.
Spend some time swimming or golfing, or any activity you really enjoy.
Just. Avoid. Sitting!
You can even enjoy a great bootcamp or fitness class that morning and then spend time moving the rest of the day: standing with your friends while you play cards, or playing with your kids at the park.
No matter what you do, make this day one that is active, enjoyable and fun for you. Yes, you can sit to enjoy your time away from work, but try not to be that person that ends up with a seat imprint on his or her butt from sitting so long.
Have a Happy Canada Day and Fourth of July!
Enjoy it all and avoid the guilt the next day!