When it comes to nutrition on a holiday, there are two schools of thought. One is to just enjoy the holiday and focus on being present with friends and family without thinking too much about what you’re eating and drinking. If the holiday is a really special one, that’s the strategy I recommend. It’s something I do on days like Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, weddings, and even my birthday. If Memorial Day is really your jam, then the above applies.
Otherwise, the focus is to put in strategies to help you stay on track while still being able to enjoy your time. The good news about Memorial Day is that it can be really easy to navigate if you go in with a game plan.
If You’re Going to Loosely Track
PROTEIN (choose one)
(the goal here is to avoid fattier cuts of meat like ribs or angus burgers)
CARBOHYDRATES (choose one)
⚡Potatoes / sweet potatoes
⚡Corn on the cob
(the goal here is to avoid fattier carbohydrates or things that are hard to track like french fries and pasta salad)
FATS (choose one)
⚡Avocado / Guacamole
⚡Veggie dip or other dips
⚡Condiments like mayonnaise/aioli
(if you chose a less lean cut of protein or it looks like lots of oil/butter was used to prepare the carbs or protein, you can skip this)
VEGGIES (choose as many as you’d like!)
⚡Raw veggies (you know, the kind that comes with dip, except skip the dip)
⚡Other grilled veggies
ALCOHOL (1 drink = 29g carbs / 10g fat)
(the goal here is to avoid sugary or high-calorie drinks like margaritas and IPAs. If you’re a social drinker, try to punctuate every drink with a seltzer water and lime so it still feels like you’re partaking!)
If Tracking Will Be Too Difficult
⚡Choose one day to indulge and have some fun. If you do that, you’ll probably be just fine. But if you get a little crazy for the entire three-day weekend, you’re probably going to set yourself back some.
⚡Going to a BBQ? Keep breakfast super high quality. Lots of lean veggies and protein. Don’t go to your event hungry.
⚡Offer to bring something to the BBQ. This way, you’ll be a nice, helpful person and have at least one food item that you know is healthy. Two birds…
⚡Set a drink limit beforehand. Two to three drinks is enough. And if you need to have a drink in your hand at all times, grab a La Croix, pour it over the rocks with a lime and you’re golden.
⚡Fill up 1/2 your plate with vegetables, 1/4 with lean protein, 1/4 with a starchy carb. Then, eat what you want. Want a brownie? Have it. Just don’t eat it to get full. Eat it to enjoy.
⚡Get a little crazy? It’s fine. Don’t fast, hit the elliptical, or anything like that to “undo the damage.” Just get back to eating normally. You’ll be fine.
⚡Be present. Life is about living so don’t let your nutrition be all you think about. Relax, let loose, and spend quality time off your phone and with the people in front of you.