Labor Day weekend always feels bittersweet, as we mark the end of summer with parties, fun gatherings and BBQs. Watching what you eat and drink can be very challenging. SO, if you have a busy holiday weekend ahead of you, use this opportunity to have fun with family and friends in a healthy way and avoid feeling guilty when it’s over. AKT’s Health & Wellness Coach, Safia Morsly-Fikai, shares her 5 tips on how you can master your Labor Day BBQ:
1. Don’t skip meals: This is probably the most important tip! Even if you wake up late or later than usual, make sure to hydrate and have a simple breakfast, such as a protein smoothie, simple toast with almond butter or an omelette. If you skip breakfast, you will be starving, which might trigger bad food choices.
2. Pile it up right at serve-yourself meals: I know, it’s there in front of you and it looks good, reeeally good and you’re really hungry and you want it all! My recommendation is to strategize around food choices: start with your greens and veggies and fill at least half of your plate with them. Then add some grains if available, such as rice or quinoa. Then add your animal protein, which should represent 30% of your plate. If you fill your plate twice, use the same strategy for your second helping. Remember to eat slowly and take your time enjoying the food. Avoid low quality and processed foods at any cost: You don’t want to fall into a food coma or feel sick and too full.
3. Alcohol is not your friend: At least in large quantities! Some nutritionists and integrative doctors recommend banning alcohol, but I don’t really believe in that if there is no medical reason. I always advocate for balance and moderation, which I think are more realistic. Over the three-day weekend, control your alcohol intake and try to limit it to no more than 2 or 3 drinks a day. Make sure to drink water profusely throughout the day in order to stay hydrated.
4. Chillax: Remember that weekends are meant for relaxing first and foremost. Although it is really nice to hop from one BBQ to another, it can get overwhelming and exhausting. Pace yourself and don’t overdo it. Most importantly, rest and have fun!
5. Stay active: Take your workout with you or do something completely different. Regardless, stay active while away and make sure to move your body.