Labor Day 2016 is just around the corner – yay, long weekend – but it doesn’t have to be an excuse to throw your diet out of the window. We have compiled some Labor Day fitness tips and healthy eating guidelines to keep your Labor Day weekend diet on track. You, too, can have a healthy Labor Day!
Although technically, the purpose of Labor Day is to salute all the hard workers that make up our great country, for many of us, it’s a time to throw the last summer bash, take that final summer trip, and of course, drink and eat far too much. Don’t let this happen to you!
Below you will find Labor Day foods– low-calorie foods, whole grain foods, and fruits and vegetables – you can enjoy this long weekend to make sure stick to your diet.
10 Labor Day 2016 Health and Diet Tips
Here are some helpful tips to keep you healthy this Labor Day weekend and throughout the coming fall and winter seasons, which will bring even more eating and gatherings.
#1. Use a smaller plate – it fills up sooner and seeing a full plate will make you think you’re eating more than you actually are. This is a great trick for cutting down on portions. And because your plate doesn’t hold as much, you’ll have to make decisions to cut out certain foods – preferably the unhealthy ones.
#2. Keep your alcoholic beverages to a minimum. Many people don’t realize it but the liquid refreshments, especially mixed drinks, contain high amounts of sugar, and what fun is drinking those extra calories? If you are going to drink, opt for low-calorie choices like white wine or light beer and make sure you get in some water in between.
#3. Summertime gatherings are often loaded with meat that’s high in saturated fat. Instead, fill up your plate with vegetables and salad and keep the red meat consumption to a minimum. Furthermore, skip the hot dogs as they are loaded with sodium and will have you reaching for soda and more alcohol.
#4. If you’re attending a potluck, do your part and bring a healthy option. Others may not follow suit, but at least you know you’ll have your dish as a nutritious alternative.
#5. Try to stay active this weekend by playing volleyball, going for a hike, or taking a dip in the pool. And if you’re heading to a cookout, just sitting around eating and drinking can make you feel super sluggish. Instead, throw a Frisbee around or gather everyone together for a mini game of football – football season is just around the corner!
#6. If you’re the Labor Day grill master, ensure you are not charring the meat as that method of cooking has been linked to cancer.
#7. Be smart with your carbohydrates and opt for whole grains, which have heart-health benefits. Avoid bleached flour breads and processed dough. Go for whole grains foods instead, whether it’s in pita or bun form. Better yet, try quinoa and brown rice over pasta salads.
#8. Don’t ditch dessert altogether. Just make healthier choices. Swap out that ice cream for sorbet. And if you’re shopping for a dessert, read the labels carefully to check not only for calories but sugar and fat content, too.
#9. Mind your dips! Dips are delicious, but you forget how much you’re actually having because you keep going back for more. Rather than dipping straight from the bowl, put a small amount of dip in your own plate. Once the dip in your plate is done, then you know it’s time to move onto the next course. Also, try sticking to veggies instead of bread.
#10. Don’t starve yourself all day because you know you’re going to a BBQ. If you don’t eat throughout the day, you will over indulge late at night. This is harsh on your digestive system and will also prompt you to make unhealthier choices. Stick to your three meals a day so you don’t regret it later on.
Foods to Enjoy on Labor Day Weekend
Now that you have some general rules and tips to follow when you head out this Labor Day, here are some healthy foods that you will want to look out for. Don’t worry; you’ll definitely enjoy them.
Vegetables: Zucchini, asparagus, corn, peppers, onions, mushrooms, etc.
Meat: Lean meat like chicken breast, bison burgers, salmon, tuna, and shrimp.
Fruit: Pineapple, strawberries, watermelon, blueberries, oranges, peaches, etc.
Dairy: Greek yogurt as a dressing or ice cream alternative when frozen and low-fat cheese.
Sticking to a Labor Day diet doesn’t have to be hard. You can very much enjoy yourself this long weekend without breaking the scale. By educating yourself on nutritious (and tasty) Labor Day food options, you can have a healthy Labor Day 2016!
“Labor Day,” Healthy Diet Habits, http://www.healthy-diet-habits.com/labor-day.html, last accessed August 30, 2016.
“Labor Day weekend survival kits,” Diet.com, http://www.diet.com/tips/125/Diet%20Tips/LABOR+DAY+WEEKEND+SURVIVAL+KIT/, last accessed August 30, 2016.