We get it. Memorial Day weekend is all about beer, barbecues & the beach. And it should be—life is too short not to live a little on your 3-day weekends.
But, there are some healthier ways to celebrate that will help you feel better and lighter come Tuesday morning. We break down our top 5 below. Try them out this weekend—what do you have to lose?
5 Tips to Stay On Track this Weekend:
- Pick your poison: We’re not saying don't enjoy a cocktail or 3 on your mini-summer vacay this weekend. What we are saying is that if you decide to indulge, there are some alcoholic beverages that are better than others. Light liquor is less caloric than dark liquor. Stay away from mixed drinks—the juice and/or soda added packs high quantities of sugar that will wreck havoc on your blood sugar. This not only makes your calorie count skyrocket, but will have you reaching for salty & sweet treats before you know it. We recommend swapping your margarita or pina colada (both in which can pack up to 500 calories) for red wine or flavored vodka with a splash of soda water and fresh lime juice—roughly 100 calories each. Although beer might taste the most refreshing on a hot pool day, it rounds out the bottom of the list. If you must, stick to low-carbohydrate options, like Michelob Ultra & Bud Light. Also remember, alcohol causes the battle of the bloat. Drink lots of water in between to stay hydrated and looking lean in your bathing suit.
- When you can, keep it colorful.
Rule of thumb: the more colorful your plate is, the healthier. We tend to be on-the-go while celebrating long weekends, which means we typically reach for food that's fast and convenient. Unfortunately, these eats, like bread, white pasta, chips, crackers and sweets, tend to be highly-processed, sugar ridden & nutritionally deficient. Not to mention, they put you in a food coma which is counterproductive when trying to surf the waves, hit the pool, man the bonfire or wake up for your morning run on the beach. What you can do: try to incorporate color into every meal, even if it's just one piece of fruit or grilled vegetables. You aren't going to be perfect with food this weekend. In fact, you shouldn't be. It's not a time to count your calories, but to enjoy your food, drinks and time with family and friends. A little tweaks here and there do go a long way, though.
- Protein > carbs
Simple carbohydrates, like chips and crackers, are sugar-heavy and will send your blood pressure sky rocketing. In turn, your energy will crash and you'll crave other simple carbs to satisfy your hunger. Then, the roller coaster continues. Instead, incorporate lean protein (chicken, turkey, pork, tofu) with your meals (a combination of lean protein, good fat and healthy carbs is the most ideal). Protein not only fuels your body for good energy, but it keeps you full longer. It's a win/win when you want to stay at the beach or pool all day long.
- Water, water, water
Summer means sunshine & sweat, so it's easy to get dehydrated. When you're body is dehydrated, your skin looks dry and dull, you feel faint & fatigued, you'll be moody and irritated and the list goes on. Plain and simple, drinking fluids is crucial to looking and feeling healthy and maintaining proper function of every system in your body—heart, brain and muscles. It also helps you not feel the alcohol as quickly Shoot for half of your bodyweight in ounces every day. If you're out in the sun or extra active, aim for more.
- Stay active
Memorial Day weekend is a time to relax and restore, enjoy time with family and friends and celebrate the men and women who have served this great country. Fitness does not have to be at the top of the to-do list. All we ask is that you try to incorporate a little activity throughout your day—take the steps, play frisbee on the beach, attepm surfing, throw the football or have a push-up contest. Keep it fun and make it a group affair.
For more summer fitness & diet tips, read our '10 Tips to Get in Shape for Summer' blog.
Healthy Grilling Recipe:
Most long weekends include good food. Here's a recipe for you to use to keep your friends & family healthy, and more importantly, impress them with your cooking skills. Enjoy!
- Bamboo skewers
- 1 lb. raw chicken breast, boneless, skinless, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1/4 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- 2 tsp grated fresh ginger
- 1 pineapple cut up in 1-inch chunks
- 1 Red bell pepper, 1-inch chunks
- 1 Red onion, 1-inch chunks
- Soak bamboo skewers in water for 30 minutes (this is key so they don't catch on fire)
- Place chicken in resealable plastic bag; add soy sauce, oil, and ginger; seal bag and shake gently to mix. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes or overnight to marinate.
- Preheat gas or charcoal grill on medium heat.
- Place a piece of chicken, pineapple chunk, bell pepper, and onion onto a skewer. Repeat, so the skewer has an even amount of colorful ingredients. Discard marinade that contained raw chicken.
- Grill skewers on covered grill for 4 to 5 minutes on each side, or until chicken is no longer pink in the middle.
- Serve while hot and enjoy!
Your O2 Fitness family hopes you have a fun & safe long weekend. ☀
To the men & women who protect our country so we can live, be fit & free, THANK YOU.