Fourth of July is just around the corner, which means that it’s almost time to spend time with family and friends outdoors, as well as sink your teeth into some traditional treats. The following are some smart tips on how to keep healthy as we celebrate out nation’s independence:

Lean on Lean Meat

Steer clear of fatty portions to help lower your overall caloric intake. This will not only help ward off unwanted weight gain after the holiday, but also keep your arteries clog-free. Since lean meat is packed with protein which is something that’s really satisfying, you will find it easier to dodge overeating.

Grill Some Greens

It’s a smart move to fill 50 percent of your plate with grilled vegetables to save yourself from having too much of the rest that packs a lot of fat and calories. Opting for grilled vegetables also supplies your body with fiber necessary to keep all those Independence Day foods moving efficiently through your GI tract.

Wheel in Whole Wheat

No Fourth of July celebration is complete without hotdogs. From family cookouts to eating contests, hotdogs are everywhere! Ensure that you pair your hotdogs with whole wheat buns and stay away from those that are out of white flour that can wreak havoc on your insulin levels as well as body weight.

Practice Portion Control

Just like any other holidays on the planet, Fourth of July can easily sabotage your weight loss goals. And just like any other time of the year, it’s important to practice sound portion control. Not only will this help keep unwanted pounds at bay, but also allow you to sample a lot of those mouthwatering traditional Independence Day treats.

Skip Skipping Meals

It’s a terrible idea to refrain from touching any of those goodies on the table just to ward off weight gain. That’s because it will only sabotage your figure even more. When your sugar level drops and hunger kicks in big time, you might end up consuming more foods — especially fat- and sugar-packed ones — than necessary.

Be In the Groove to Move

Frisbee, volleyball, badminton, croquette — no matter the lawn game taking place, participate! Staying physically active throughout the celebration can help burn those extra calories from that slice of strawberry shortcake of slab of grilled pork. Just don’t forget to drink lots of fluids to keep dehydration at bay!

Alternate to Hydrate

Keep yourself from drinking too much alcohol by alternating each serving of cocktail with something non-alcoholic such as fruit juice or soda. Definitely, it’s a wise move to down a full glass of water after a glass or shot of your favorite alcohol in order to stay hydrated especially if you’re engaging in some dancing, parlor games or various beach activities.

Dip in Clean Water

Before you jump into that beach, lake or river, make sure that the water is clear and does not sport any color that can make you raise an eyebrow. The same is true when you’re celebrating Fourth of July at a community pool. There are many skin and internal problems that you can get from swimming in contaminated or dirty water.

Slather on Sunscreen

Make sure that your bag has a bottle of sunscreen that has an SPF of not less than 15 — and apply it generously, too! When the clock hits 10 am, start protecting your skin from the sun’s UV rays. Opt for some added sun protection by wearing a wide-brimmed hat and large sunglasses, and covering exposed body areas with a sarong.

Plug In Those Earplugs

Marching bands and fireworks can make the holiday even more memorable. However, they can also permanently damage your hearing! That is why you should place a pair of earplugs in your bag or pocket, and diligently put them on whenever necessary. Got no earplugs? Use your hands to give your ears the protection they need from loud sounds.

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