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6 Eat Clean Hacks for the 4th!

This is the weekend for barbecues and picnics, full of ribs, loaded burgers, mayonnaise laden potato and macaroni salads, chips, ice cream, cakes, and sweets! To navigate these parties and stay true to my clean-eating principles, I follow these principles:

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1. Bring an eat clean dish. For every holiday party, I always volunteer to bring a fruit or vegetable tray, or a healthy fruit or vegetable based dish. Picnics and barbecues are the perfect place for finger sized cut veggies and fruits or a great big salad! This way, I'm guaranteed to have some healthy food to eat.

2. Skip or go easy on the dips and condiments. I go easy on the mayonnaise and cheese based dips and even the guacamole and the hummus.  While guacamole and hummus are healthy foods, they are also high in calories which can quickly add up.  So, I put just a spoonful on my plate to eat with veggies, or skip these dips all together.

3. Drink lots of H20. I drink lots of water before, during and after the party. It helps me feel full and hydrates me, so I quench my thirst, which can sometimes be mistaken for hunger.

4. Limit alcohol consumption. Alcohol lowers inhibitions and will-power.  After a few drinks, I'm more tempted by the sweets and calorie-laden foods. I take a few sips of my drink, and when I've reached the halfway point, then drink a glass of water. My goal is to drink two glasses of water for each alcoholic beverage, which I limit to two.

5. Start small and take it slow. I start with the fruits, vegetables and clean proteins.  After filling up my plate with these, I eat them and don't go back to the buffet table until I've chatted and visited with my family or friends for half an hour. This gives me time to digest and feel full.  When I'm ready to go back for some treats, I make sure it's a dish I really love and will enjoy.  Then I eat it slowly, savoring each bite.

6. Back to business the next day. The day following a party, I go right back to eating clean and get on a good sweat! 

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