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5 Tips for staying on track this memorial day weekend

The holiday weekend is officially upon us and if you live anywhere in the Midwest like I do, you're probably ready to put on a bathing suit, get outside and throw back a few cold ones (I know I sure am!). This weekend doesn't have to mean severe restriction, however, a little discipline will go a long way in keeping you are on track with your fitness goals. These are my 5 tips for surviving this holiday weekend without throwing your progress down the toilet.

Tip #1: Bring more than just your own buns to the party

For those of you who didn't get that joke right away, I'll give you a minute to ponder. For those of you who are with me, I am talking about bringing healthy hamburgers & hot dog buns to the get together. It is a universal rule that you can't show up to a party empty handed so why not bring something that will benefit the whole party. So what buns am I referring to? My go-to healthy alternative for this scenario is a brand called "Healthy Life". With 80 calories per bun, 0.5 grams of fat and 4 grams of fiber, they are a guilt free way to enjoy the unofficial kick off of grilling season. Check them out for yourself and find out where to buy them in your location ->

Tip #2: Know what you're Drinking

Not all booze is created equal! This doesn't mean we avoid alcohol this weekend, but it does mean that we be a bit strategic on our quest to get "Turnt" (can someone please verify if I used that term correctly? Anyone??). Alcohol provides 0 nutritional benefit in terms of the calories that it provides, however, it still adds calories to the bottom line. Each gram of alcohol provides roughly 7 calories to the bottom line. A typical 12 oz. beer or 5 oz. glass of wine yields roughly 125 calories. So what does this mean for you? If you are an extremist like me, it means you adjust your total caloric intake for the day in order to make room for the number of drinks you would like to consume. If you don't plan on counting calories this weekend, remove some carbohydrates from your diet to offset the carbs provided from the booze and make informed decisions. This calculator will tell you just how many calories are in each drink. ->

Tip #3: Actively be Active

I'm not even sure if I know what that means but it made sense in my head, allow me to explain... These holiday weekends are a great time to be active without having the structure of a formalized workout. So what does that mean? It means to actively look for opportunities to be active. Something as simple as bringing a Frisbee or football to the BBQ can be the difference between sitting in a patio chair for hours and breaking up sedentary time. Do you drink coffee in the morning? Why don't you walk to the coffee shop instead of drive? It doesn't mean we have to be sweating on a treadmill to create benefit, we just gotta move!

Tip #4: Hydrate

This one is about as simple as it gets people. Between the heat and those ice cold zima's, there is a strong chance that you are dehydrating the body. Try throwing in a bottle of water in between every alcoholic beverage or every time you reapply the tanning oil (that's how I stay both hydrated and tan all time... secret's out). If you really suck at drinking water, try putting 2 bottles in your pillow case and let me know how you sleep (That's my old trick from the college days). Bottom line, don't forget to push the water this weekend.

Tip #5: Red, White & Greens

We have a hard time getting enough greens on our plate as is, so what happens when you add the holiday weekend into the mix? I wish the answer was that we all load our plates with broccoli and kale but we actually load them with burgers and ketchup (anyone catch that?). Now I don't blame you because if I ever saw someone put broccoli on a burger I would do the honors myself of asking them to leave the party. However, these greens are essential to many functions in the body, and more importantly, our immune system so maybe we should invite the broccoli guy back to the party. On a serious note, making a nice "greens" smoothie first thing in the morning will provide us with what we need for the day so that we can eat our burgers the way they were designed to be eaten. A good mix I have been using is cucumber, beetroot, celery, lime, kale, turmeric and ginger. Packed with nutrients, great for lowering inflammation and improving digestion.

Hope this helps everyone stay on track this weekend and please remember and pay homage to those who died while serving this country this weekend.

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