Hotdogs, hamburgers and beer are quintessential 4th of July food. Holiday parties can always be hard for those of us who are trying to focus on eating as healthy as possible. Don’t let your healthy eating regime ruin your day — allow yourself to indulge a little — but follow these easy tips to stop yourself from going overboard.

Healthy Snacks:

At a barbeque, there’s sure to be plenty of snacks, and often people bring salty and fatty foods like chips and dips. Avoid those and fill your plate with fresh fruits and veggies instead. If it’s a potluck, remember to bring snacks that align with your health goals, but everyone can enjoy together. A tray with raw or roasted veggies is a great way to start your holiday celebration.

Healthy Meat:

 

To make your burger healthier, consider using lettuce for a bun and forgoing cheese and mayo. That gets rid of a lot of the extra carbs and fats that a typical cheeseburger has. Or maybe bring some black bean veggie burgers to toss on the grill — they are low in saturated fats, relatively low in calories and you don’t have to worry about getting sick if they haven’t been grilled properly.

Healthy Salads:

Avoid eating your typical BBQ potato salad as it is very heavy with mayonnaise and fats, especially if bacon is added. One serving can equal about 440 calories and about 35 grams of fat. This salads does not add any nutritious value to your body, so substitute it with something that will allow you to not only eat healthy but also not feel heavy. If you are a potato lover, here is what you can do: Cut some potatoes into small cubes, sprinkle them with olive oil, add garlic to season them and put them in a foil plate, or a double layer of foil, and BBQ them for 20 minutes while working on roasting everything else. Before serving cut and add some parsley or dill, great resources of vitamins, for extra taste and color.

Healthy Drinks:

Those fruity, blended drinks that are so popular at summer parties can really add up in both calories and sugar. One margarita can have up to 500 calories. Have a couple of those and your day is ruined. It’s important to have a good time and celebrate with the best of them, so bring ingredients for a skinny cocktail. Consider incorporating fresh juices to bring down the sugar and maximize the nutritional content. Here are eight cocktail recipes are under 200 calories a piece. I bet your fellow party goers will be thanking you for your contributions.

Healthy Deserts:

The final part of every celebration is the desert. Often, we do not have any space left to consume anything else, but we still go after that yummy looking slice of chocolate cake. Not being careful with your deserts can not only destroy your calorie balance, but it can cause you to overeat which is a torture for your digestive system. Instead, make a fresh fruit salad and serve it in a small cup. Fruits are naturally sweet, but if you are craving some extra sweetness, just add a teaspoon of organic honey. Thus, instead of adding fats and chemicals to your body you will be adding vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants.

[Photos: Brett MonroeQuinn DombrowskiJason MeredithTheCulinaryGeekKurman CommunicationsBonita SuraputraWxMom, Ben Ward, Madlyinlovewithlife, Riana Ambarsari & I believe I can fry]


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