Well it’s that time again. Summer is winding down, and for most of us, school is.. NEXT WEEK! Before we dive into the first day of school, we have one more big holiday to celebrate. It’s LABOR DAY!! The day where America is supposed to sit back, relax, and reflect on all of its hard work. For those who have to continue working on this day, we bow our heads in a moment of silence for you.
Ok, now that that is over… in good old American fashion, we celebrate the blue collar folks with parades, and cookouts. The newest inclusion, is shopping! Cha-ching! BUT THIS POST ISN’T ABOUT THAT. IT’s about the cookouts, and all that lovely lovely food.
So for those of us who are trying to stay in shape and watch what we eat, we’ve gathered a few tips on how to keep that slim figure slim.
How to NOT Overeat at the Cookout
Survey the Land
The smell of grilling sizzling meat is in the air, the warmth of burning coal seeps out from the grill. The hunter instinct in you comes alive! Your mouth is alive with anticipation and you’re ready to pounce on the first sign of food! Then you see it, out before you is a marvelous spread of hamburgers (angus beef, am I right?!), steaks, hot dogs, brats with onions, potato salad, macaroni salad, ribs. There’s silver tins filled to the brim with fried chicken, and molten lakes of macaroni and cheese. Before that a table has been set aside for nothing but finger foods. Bowls of potato chips tower above cans of fluffy white dip that sit along side plates covered in pigs-in-a-blanket. Your tongue, unbeknownst to you, has slipped out and you lick your lips, awaiting the moment those succulent morsels of expertly grilled and friend meat can get past your teeth and send you reeling into a world of euphoria! BUT WAIT! Your emerging waistline, awesome cholesterol and blood sugar are telling you to put the brakes on all of that. What do you do with all is presented before you in the promise land of grilled goodies?
- Stop and take a breath! Seriously! You don’t want your mind to go into hoarding mode where you grab the first thing you see and let your plate pile up to overflowing.
- Decide what you want to eat first and even limit yourself to two types of food at a time and give yourself the option to go back. This way you’re not denying yourself something awesome to eat, and you’re not bingeing.
Pick a Smaller Dish
Ok, now you’ve checked out the spread and your stomach is rumbling, yelling at you for sustenance! Looking around, you find the plates and reach for the biggest one, the plate that could double as a trash can cover or even the hub plate cover for a Hummer. It’s time to go in! HOLD IT! Your stomach may be yelling FEED ME but your heart is telling you otherwise; in fact it would like to continue beating for a few more years. So what to do?
- Pick a smaller plate. If you grab the salad plate, dessert plate, or even the kids plate (if all of these are available) you’ll prevent yourself from over eating. Your portions will be kept smaller just because you know the plate can’t hold that much.
- Big plates make your portions look smaller so automatically you go to fill it to the brim. Your best bet is to go for the smallest plate you can find. If that isn’t an option then (if they are paper plates) then use a small spoon or a clean eating fork to select your items.
Limit the Liquor
You’ve done it! You planned out what you’ll eat and even went for the smallest plate you could find. Now all you need is something to wash it down with. In your head, you’ve got a cold one sitting comfortably in your hand, or a bottle cozy, and in between each delicious bite of burger you’re washing it down with that cool liquid gold. But what do the hosts have on deck? Some beer, maybe a little vino…. some sangria? Before you decide to wash away the afternoon, keep these tips in mind so as not to make your body dunk on the nectar of the gods, and your body fat on every yummy calorie.
- Alternate your alcohol with water and/or a low calorie non-alcoholic beverage. The amount of alcohol you consume will play on your senses. It may tell you “you can handle a big plate, you’re a grown man/woman” or it will tell you “EAT ALL THE FOOD” and before you know it, you’re overeating and over indulging and the next day you’re writhing in anguish and guilt! So avoid all of that by mixing it up.
- If your host happens to provide glassware to sip yourself into the night, pick the tallest glass. It will trick your senses into thinking you’ve had more when you’ve really had less.
So there you have it! Your organs will thank you, your doctors will thank you, your loved ones will thank you. Most importantly you’ll be happy with yourself because you didn’t binge, you won’t be in agony, and you can continue on your self-improvement journey.
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