Keeping your summer body may be harder than the work you did all spring to get it in the first place. Travel, children and the relaxed tone of the season can easily derail your goals IF you allow. As fitness is 80% reliant on nutrition and only 20% on exercise, let’s start the discussion with how to pass through the enchanted forest of burgers, beer & ice cream, OH MY!

Unless you are gifted with superhero self-control, avoiding indulgence is likely to last between five minutes and five days. After which, you will find yourself hiding in the pantry alternating between eating frosting with a spoon and pouring Cheetos into your mouth straight from the bag.

The secret of your rebellious food bender is safe with me. However, long term fitness success is found when you control, rather than deprive yourself. In other words, instead of avoiding your favorite foods; practice portion control and moderation.

Before you head out the door for the next summer bash; consider trying these 3 tricks:

1. Have a healthy snack before departing for your party destination. Doing so will fill your stomach enough to allow judgment in your eating decisions.

The impulse to reserve calories by eating very little before you get to a gathering can backfire: Ravenously hungry you rush from the car, dash past the hostess with a quick wave & a comment about needing a bathroom, pull a chair up to the food table and begin feeding like a pig at a trough, while casting dirty glares at children that try to squeeze their way to the chip bowl.

Don’t let that be you.
Find ideas for quick healthy pre-party snacks at the end of this article.

2. Bring a healthy snack or two to share with the crowd so you know, without doubt, that there will be options that appeal to you.

Find ideas for delicious crowd pleasers at the end of this article.

3. Pack some sparkling water in the cooler with the beer and wine. Better yet, fill a
beverage dispenser with water, add thinly sliced cucumber, halved strawberries, a bit of fresh mint and allow two hours for the flavor to infuse the water. The concoction is pretty, sure to be a hit with guests and curbs snack cravings!

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If you feel a need to maintain your party animal persona; fill a red solo cup with seltzer water and put a lime wedge on the side. Most people won’t ask. Most people don’t care. However, if libations are your weakness, your mocktail may save you from caving to peer pressure.



Pre-party Snacks to fuel your self-control:

1. Nuts – 1/4 cup of raw almonds or a tablespoon of all natural peanut butter (my favorite pre-workout snack). Do not fear the nut… Nuts are a great source of fiber, protein and healthy fats and have actually been shown to aide in weight management.
2. Greek yogurt – 1/2 cup sprinkled with sliced almonds and a teaspoon of all natural syrup.
3. Protein Shake – My favorite being chocolate Shakeology mixed with almond milk.

Shakeology
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Healthy options to share:
1. Caprese Salad: My favorite way to serve caprese is to cut 1/4 inch slices of fresh ripe tomato, top with a thin slice of fresh mozzarella and garnish with a single fresh basil leaf. Then drizzle olive oil & balsamic vinegar and sprinkle salt & pepper to taste.
2. Popcorn: Yes I’m serious. Popcorn is actually a natural weight loss food. Of course popcorn is most nutritions if air popped or popped in olive or coconut oil. Experiment with recipes until you find your next party hit:
Nutty/Spicey
Sweet
30 Healthy Popcorn Recipes
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3. Fruit platter with Greek yogurt dip: Go heavy on berries. They are an excellent source of nutrients and may even help you reach weight loss goals.
4. Grilled Veggie Skewers – My favorite veggies to grill are portobello mushrooms, red peppers, onions, zuchini and eggplant. Cut veggies, sprinkle with olive oil and shake in a freezer bag with Lipton’s Savory Herb & Garlic Soup. Or, use your favorite seasonings. Dill is always delicious! For grilling techniques, link to these great tips.
5. Veggie platter with Hummus: don’t forget to include asparagus… it’s a natural diuretic.
6. Watermelon Platter – Always a hit with children and adults. The high water content will keep you hydrated and make you feel full. If you’ve heard watermelon is full of sugar… well, it may be higher than berries on the gylcemic index BUT has a super low gylcemic load, which is the more important measure. Use this link to learn more health benefits to watermelon.
7. Shrimp Cocktail – Shrimp is a protein source low in fat and calories and toted as a weight loss secret weapon; 8 large shrimp and two tablespoons of cocktail sauce are about 100 calories. (PS – Hey! check out some of the other weight loss weapons! I found the article after completing my suggestions… how about that for fitness validation?).
8. Grilled Peaches – Half and pit the peach. Grill peach halves until tender and warm. Sprinkle with cinnamon and add 1/4 cup of vanilla ice cream, (just over 100 calories).
9. Quinoa Salad

Do you have healthy side dishes or snacks that are a hit at summer outings? Please share them in our comment section and message Wicked Sexy Smart at wickedsexysmart@gmail.com We value your input!


To be continued...

(PART II… Addressing how a person works out during the summer when they can’t even go poop without a child tragedy unfolding THE. MINUTE. MOM. SITS. HER. ASS. ON. THE. TOILETTE?!?)