With Memorial Day weekend right around the corner, chances are you’re already planning a family getaway, thinking of going to a couple of parties with your friends, or maybe you’ll just enjoy yourself at home for the long weekend.
No matter which plans you have, if you’re on a fitness journey and are trying your best to keep a healthy diet, weekends like these can get pretty tricky to navigate. You don’t want to miss out on delicious food and drinks, but you also don’t want to throw all your fitness efforts down the drain… so what can you do?
In this article, we’ll help you find a good balance between enjoying yourself and staying on track with your goals with some of our favorite healthy eating tips for this Memorial Day holiday. This way, you can enjoy the weekend without an ounce of guilt!
Keep liquid calories to a minimum
When you think of calories, you usually picture a bunch of different foods – but drinks contain calories too! And because drinks go down easier and faster than food, you’re more likely to overlook how many liquid calories you’re actually consuming in a single sitting.
Sugary drinks such as soda contain high-calorie levels due to their added sugar content – the same sugar content that makes them so tasty in the first place! The same goes for alcoholic beverages, particularly those sweet mixed drinks that you get at bars. One or two drinks won’t hurt, but try not to overindulge to keep those liquid calories at bay!
Move around after eating
Ever feel super heavy after eating a hefty meal, so you just sit on the couch waiting for the fullness to pass? Try moving around instead! It might not sound too appealing given that you feel as though you can barely move, but walking around will actually help you digest your food much faster.
Not only that but walking for 10-15 minutes after a meal gives you all the benefits of a light cardio session, especially if you turn it into a habit. On top of improved digestion, walking can help regulate blood sugar levels and help you lose weight, so it’s a win on all sides!
Have your favorite foods in moderation
Completely limiting yourself to a strict meal plan and not allowing for any of your favorite not-so-healthy foods and snacks is a recipe for disaster. Not only can it make you develop an unhealthy relationship with food, but you might also grow tired of your current routine and ditch healthy eating altogether.
During this Memorial Day weekend, have your favorite foods! A few extra calories are not going to hurt as long as you do it in moderation, just as we mentioned before. You can pair this with moving around after your meal to help with digestion and make you feel like you’re doing something healthy for your body after indulging a little!
Make healthy food swaps
If you’re not familiar with healthy food swaps, it’s when you replace a maybe not-so-healthy food with a more nutritious alternative that supports your goals and lifestyle, helping you stay on track at all times without having to worry too much about extra calories.
A popular healthy food swap is to eat fruit instead of candy, because both are sweet but one is definitely more nutritious than the other – and you can pair your fruit with Greek yogurt or dark chocolate to make it tastier! Other food swaps you can try are air-fried sweet potatoes instead of french fries, or plant-based milk instead of dairy.
Pack smart if you’re traveling
If you know you’re going to a place where most of the time you’ll be eating out, or the food options at your destination are somewhat limited, packing smart will save you a lot of food stress that you probably don’t need during your short getaway!
Pack healthy snacks that you can eat whenever hunger hits you so you don’t end up hitting the nearest vending machine, such as homemade trail mix or a protein bar. And speaking of protein, bringing your favorite protein powder with you is always a good idea, so make sure to check out 373Lab Protein Powders before your trip!
Take a good look at your options
Sometimes you have no option but to eat whatever foods they have at the gathering. When that happens, make sure that you’re taking a good look around, checking out every food option that you have before you start grabbing stuff and putting it on your plate.
This doesn’t mean getting all picky and not eating anything that’s not on your usual healthy meal plan, but instead doing your best to pick the most nutritious choices. If you need to choose between a side of french fries or a side of buttery mashed potatoes, maybe neither of them aligns with your goals, but one is definitely lower in calories!
Drink lots of water
There are many reasons to keep hydrated during this Memorial Day weekend. Of course, water helps your body stay in tip-top shape by supporting countless body processes such as flushing out toxins and carrying nutrients around your body, but that’s not all water’s good for!
When you feel hungry, your immediate thought likely is to eat something. However, hunger doesn’t always mean that you need food — sometimes your body is just craving water! If you stay hydrated by drinking lots of water, you’ll be able to stay satiated and identify for sure when you actually need to eat some food, so you don’t end up accidentally overeating.
Get back on track the next day
Last but not least, if you’re serious about your fitness efforts and don’t want to spiral back into unhealthy eating habits, try your best to get back on track as soon as the regular workweek resumes so you can continue working toward your fitness goals without setbacks.
This might be difficult at first, given that you’re just coming back from a relaxing weekend likely filled with delicious foods and drinks, but you’ll thank yourself later! Try slowly getting back into it at first, prioritizing healthy fats, good sources of protein, fruits, and vegetables, and then you can resume with full force once you’ve readjusted.
Enjoy your Memorial Day weekend while staying on track
Remember, healthy eating to stay on track doesn’t mean depriving yourself of all the tasty foods that you love, it just means enjoying them in moderation. You can always have your favorite family dishes or enjoy a nice dinner out with friends, just try to make smart food decisions and avoid overindulging!
Want to start tracking your foods but don’t know where to start?
Check the Fit With Iulia app!
The app features a Kitchen section in which you can log every meal that you eat by choosing from our expansive food library, helping you keep track of everything that you eat in a day and better visualize your healthy meal plan or even create a completely new one. Simply download the Fit With Iulia app and try our 7-day free trial today!