The Fourth of July holiday always brings fond memories of fireworks, family gatherings at the lake and of course my favorite summer indulgences. As I no longer have my teenage metabolism, here are some simple tips that will enable you to enjoy the celebration without falling off the wagon.

Eat a high protein snack before you arrive. I always advise my clients to never arrive hungry to a feast. You will inevitably encounter lots of tempting fare even before your main meal is served. Therefore, eat a protein rich snack, such as an apple and almond butter or a hard-boiled egg and vegetables. This will keep you full, so you won’t be tempted to overindulge.

Bring a healthy side dish or salad. Politely offer to bring a summertime favorite, so you know there will be something healthy for you to eat. Most hosts will be happy for the assistance and there’s nothing wrong with just being honest with your host.

Limit the high-calorie appetizers. Dishes like taco dip, pizza bites, pigs in the blanket, candy and chips contain hundreds of extra calories. These items are also difficult to eat in moderation. Therefore, choose lighter options such as vegetables and hummus, the fruit platter or cheese tray.

Choose your splurge. When dinner is served, choose one food item that you cannot live without and then fill the rest of your plate with protein, vegetables and fruit. For instance, if you are craving the pasta salad, skip the potatoes au gratin.

Limit yourself to one small portion of dessert. It’s a holiday so you should of course enjoy yourself. But limit it to your dessert of choice. Thus, have the apple pie a la mode or the red velvet cupcake, not both.

Stay hydrated. It is super important that you stay hydrated, especially if you’ll be outside in the hot sun as sweating depletes your body of water. Be sure to also watch your alcohol intake as alcoholic beverages are very dehydrating. Therefore, always drink one glass of water per alcoholic beverage.

Outdoor fitness fun. Get moving with your friends and family to burn off extra calories. Play a game of volleyball, basketball, baseball or bags. Go swimming, for a hike around the lake or bike ride around your neighborhood.

Tomorrow is a new day. Remember if you overindulged, don’t beat yourself up about it. This only creates unneeded stress in your body. Life should be experienced, and everything had in moderation. Just get yourself back on track with your diet and fitness routine. After all, a post morning stroll with your family or doggy always does the trick.

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