Tips for staying compliant over July 4th weekend!!!
Summer is finally here! There is nothing like relaxing and enjoying the July 4th weekend with family and friends. To those of us who have committed to lifestyle changes, a weekend of abandonment can have quite devastating effects on our weeks of hard work.
Fortunately, there are some simple choices and substitutions that we can make to help alleviate the negative effects of glutinous consumption during a holiday weekend. The issue with July 4th weekend, is that it is just that, “a weekend” instead of a simple cheat meal. To properly stay complaint with the MAX diet, you should select the event that tempts you most and use that as your cheat meal and otherwise stuck to the diet.
However, for a lot of us, we have multiple events throughout the weekend, all of which are tempting. So below I have listed just a few tips to help you make better choices that do not cause you to spiral out of control.
- Eat at home before you go.
This way you will be less tempted to eat junk food while you are out and about. Limit the amount of carbs you eat at home before your activity and add in some extra good fats like grass fed butter, olive oil, avocado, eggs etc. This extra fat will stimulate your satiety center and will keep you feeling full and satisfied.
2. Really try to keep the simple carbs to a minimum
‘We all know that eating simple carbs such as cakes, candies, chips, pretzels, M&M’s etc are devastating to you diet, but do we know the reason? According to Dr. David Ludwig, MD, PhD, an Endocrinologist and researcher at Boston Children’s Hospital, eating sugar actually activates the very same centers in the brain that are activated by using cocaine and heroin. Sugar is unbelievably addictive. Eating simple carbs that quickly turn into sugar makes you hungrier and does not turn on your satiety center. Once the sugar “high wears off”, you feel hungry and start to look for more simple carbs for a quick fix. This becomes a negative cycle that spiral downward can derail any diet very quickly.
- If you do need something crunchy and are not in the mood for raw veggies – skip the pretzels and pita chips.
Instead eat a handful of potato chips. While this sounds counter-intuitive it’s because most pretzels and pita chips contain gluten and are highly processed carbs. Many people are intolerant of gluten, which is why it is eliminated in later phases of the diet. In addition, eating gluten can cause you to hold onto water weight. Potato chips (especially baked or those cooked in olive oil) contain some fat in addition to the carbs. The addition of fat helps to curb your appetite. Most potato chips are made with inflammatory omega-6 fats so are not a great choice routinely, but in this case a few won’t hurt.
- Skip the diet soda (and the regular soda)
Diet soda is one of the worst choices you can make because it has artificial sweetener, which reeks havoc on the bacteria in your gut. In addition, the artificial sweetener tricks your body into thinking it is getting calories. However, when the calories do not accompany the sweetener, the body craves it. This will make you more ravenous. In addition, artificial sweeteners negatively effect the bodies ability to respond properly to insulin.
- Feel free to drink some alcohol, but be selective in what you drink.
Skip the beer and sweetened mixed drinks and instead reach for a glass of red or white wine, or Vodka with club soda/fruit flavored seltzers (no artificial sweeteners). Steer clear of mixers such as Crystal Light as that contains aspartame or sucralose (Splenda) and will cause the issues just listed above.
Most beer contains gluten and can pack on the calories, therefore avoiding beer will help in reducing calorie intake and prevent the negative effects of gluten containing foods, such as bloating, fatigue and weight gain due to water weight.
- Use lettuce wraps as a bun or put the burgers over a salad.
- Lettuce provides fiber, has negligible calories and is more filling without all the negatives of bread. In addition, use condiments but avoid those with corn syrup and lots of added sugars (i.e regular Ketchup). Heinz makes a simply Heinz Ketchup without all the additives found in regular Ketchup. Also, feel free to use the sauerkraut and pickles for the probiotics they contain as long as they are not overly processed or loaded with additives.
- Although in MAX dairy is usually eliminated, if you are going to have dessert, your best bet is fresh fruit or frozen fruit smoothies (without added sugar). However, if you are craving something sweet, go for the 5 ingredient full fat ice cream. Avoid the processed ice creams and desserts with lots of additives and indulge in real ice cream. The high fat content in this case is combined with a fair amount of sugar, so you may not turn on your satiety center. That being said, you are much better off choosing real, non-processed, not artificially sweetened foods over the low fat, high sugar, highly processed desserts.
- Try to get in at least 20-30 minutes of exercise at least once or twice during the three-day weekend. Take your family for a walk, a bike ride, a walk on the boardwalk, or play sports. Make sure to do whatever it takes to be active. This will release endorphins and help elevate your mood, but also allow for positive social interactions and help to instill the importance of exercise in your family members.
Most importantly don’t beat yourself up if you slip up a bit. The MAX challenge is a 10- week program that gives you the tools to live a better, healthier and more fulfilling life. While it is phases are broken up into 10-week cycles, the idea behind the MAX and the diet are meant to be lifestyle changes. Making small changes each challenge will have lasting effects and over time become big changes.
Disclaimer. The information provided here is not intended to substitute for medical care and should not be used for treatment or diagnosis. If you have, or suspect you have a problem concerning your health please consult with a licensed healthcare professional.