Fourth of July Survival Guide: Healthy Eating Tips & Tricks

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Dear Hungry Girl,

I'm going to a Fourth of July cookout, complete with barbecued food, side dishes, beer... the works. How can I avoid blowing my diet?

BBQ Confused

Hungry Girl's July 4th Survival GuideHi BBQ Confused,

Don't worry... It's totally possible to enjoy a summer holiday party without wrecking your diet. Here are my TOP ATE tips... 

1. Stay hydrated. I know you've probably heard this a million times, but it's that important. It's easy to mistake thirst for hunger, which can lead to overeating. Plus, when you're dehydrated, you're more likely to make not-so-smart food decisions. Speaking of questionable choices, don't overdo it with the alcohol. If you're of legal age and plan on drinking, stick with light beer (around 100 calories for a 12-oz. bottle) or wine (around 120 calories per 5-oz. glass) and be sure to have a glass of water between each alcoholic drink. Have trouble drinking plain ol' H2O? Click for tips...

2. Bring a guilt-free dish to the party. This way, you know there'll be at least one healthy option to fill up on. Did you see last week's pasta salad email? Seven crazy-delicious recipes to choose from! And this Scoopable Chinese Chicken Salad is perfect: It takes only 10 minutes to make, and it eats like a meal...

3. Hit the grill. Grilling makes nearly everything taste better (ice cream excluded), and it keeps added fat to a minimum. As long as the food isn't drowned in oil beforehand, you're pretty much good to go. My top picks? Skinless chicken breast, lean turkey burgers, and veggie skewers.

4. Cool off with smart frozen treats. Stick to fruit pops and fruit bars (I love Nestlé Outshine Fruit Bars) instead of standard ice cream treats. You get the cool refreshment without the extra fat. Who doesn't love that?

5. Resist those mayo-laden side dishes. Even a seemingly reasonable 2/3-cup serving of potato salad has an average of 300 calories and nearly 20g fat. Not worth it! So stay away... unless it's made from an HG recipe like this Bacon 'n Dill Potato Salad, of course.

6. Get physical. Is there a volleyball game going on? Frisbee? A really competitive game of tag? Get in on it! You'll have fun and burn off some extra calories. Just make sure you hydrate...

7. Enjoy. That's the point, after all! The more time you spend having fun with family and friends (and not standing directly in front of the food spread), the less time you'll spend thinking about eating. Oh, and one more thing...

8. Wear sunscreen. Yeah, it's got nothing to do with calories, but protecting your skin is really important if you're spending time outside. Plus, if you end up sunburned, you might be tempted to drown your sorrows in a gallon of ice cream.

Happy (almost) Fourth of July!


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It's July 1st, which means it's officially National Blueberry Month. Have you seen our Red, White & Blue Cheesecake recipe over on It's a must-make!

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