Diet Write

by DietWrite,'s Diet and Fitness News Reporter

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EDITOR'S NOTE: The following is a classic created by Senior Video Producer Sarah Dussault.

My favorite holiday is just around the corner... the Fourth of July! It's not only my favorite holiday but just might be my favorite day during the entire year.

Most people will not be counting calories, but that does not mean that you have to blow your diet or go overboard completely!

Get prepared to see pictures of the many celebrities who will dare to celebrate at a public beach. The paparazzi will be busy trying to snap a picture of Paris behaving badly while celebrating in a red,white and blue bikini.

There will probably be plenty of articles telling you how the rich and famous got their killer bodies for summer, but you know what? They are going to lie and make it seem like they are just like everyone else. Most celebrities underestimate exercise and overestimate calorie intake. Period.

So here is my 4th of July survival guide to having fun, while still feeling confident in your bathing suit.

BBQ's and beach parties and are the best part about celebrating a holiday during the summer. Most people associate them with hot dogs (385 calories), hamburgers (433 calories), potato salad (450 calories), cole slaw, and cake. YUM!

However, there are often better options sitting on the picnic table that are better for you and taste just as good.

Skip the hot dogs, and go for a fat-free version or even a vegetarian option like Smart Dogs.

As for hamburgers, skip the cheese, go bunless by using lettuce wrapped around, or like Jessica Simpson you can do an open face burger. Of course, if they are available, stick to turkey burgers or veggie burgers.

Grilled chicken is always a wise choice, and kabobs are even better! Portion control plus grilled vegetables, delicious.

Instead of heading for the mayo-laden potato salad or cole slaw, choose the pasta salad if you have to. Perhaps you can bring your own pasta salad made with whole wheat pasta, lots of veggies and a lite Italian dressing.

Veggies and dip are usually a staple as an appetizer. Fill up on these but be aware of what is in the dip. Again, offer to help out your host and bring your own light version. Most people can't tell light recipes.

For dessert, embrace the summer fruits and enjoy a juicy slice of watermelon. Another option would be an angel food cake with fat-free cool whip, blueberries and strawberries (for red, white, and blue of course).

Steer clear of the margaritas and daiquiris. If you want to drink, stick to light beer, wine or a flavored liquor with soda water (with a splash of cran if you're like me).

Whenever I go to the beach with a big group of friends, it seems as though the boys are always playing some sort of game and the ladies are sun bathing. It's important to keep your body moving, and playing games at the beach never seems like a workout even though you may burn more calories.

Here are some great games to play at the beach or cookout: volleyball, wiffle ball, frisbee, bocci ball, swimming, or soccer.

Help the hostess clean up, or if your having the party, mow your lawn that morning. It all adds up!

Lastly, if you are not throwing the party, or are not supposed to bring anything, there are ways around the issue of acting like you don't want to eat a burger without being "that girl."

--Have something light before you arrive so you aren't starving.
--Fill up on the veggie platter and fruit.
--Eat in moderation.
--Eat in moderation. (Yes, I said "eat in mkoderation" twice on purpose.)
--My favorite excuse for not gorging on typical holiday foods: lie. Yes, I said lie.

Vegetarian options are much healthier for you at a BBQ. No, I'm not a vegetarian but I could ...    Continue

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