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Land of the Free, Home of the Crave(ings): How to Snack Smart this 4th of July

by Christie Cash July 01, 2015

Land of the Free, Home of the Crave(ings): How to Snack Smart this 4th of July

Oh say can you see, by the grill’s early light, what so proudly we hail all of Independence Day’s delicious indulgences…but maybe not the excess calories. How can you feel patriotic when your favorite Fourth delights can pile up to 100g of fat on your plate? While holidays are the perfect time to enjoy a cheat meal, there’s no reason to put yourself into a sugar-, sodium-, and carb-induced coma if healthier alternatives are available.

BikiniBOD is great for curbing cravings and suppressing appetites so you don't risk overindulging, and combined with these smart substitutes, you can enjoy the fireworks without totally putting your progress on blast.

The Healthy Hamburger

Many would tell you that failing to fire up the grill on the Fourth of July is decidedly un-American. Those people are probably not putting on a two piece and trying to achieve a JLo booty any time soon. Luckily, you can enjoy your charred favorites without hindering your hard work or yearning for flavor.

For a burger that keeps your calorie count in check, start with a better patty: lean ground turkey is a low-fat alternative to ground beef, or for the vegetarian patriots of the party, black bean veggie burgers pack a substantial amount of protein.

Instead of the standard hamburger bun, save yourself 16g of carbs and swap them for Portobello mushroom caps. While you’re at it, load your burger up with flavorful grilled veggies and avoid the heaps of condiments for a colorful, healthier, nutrient-rich main dish.

A Guilt Free Potato Salad

This traditional bowl of fat and calories can be easily remedied by making one easy substitution: trade your mayo for fat-free Greek yogurt. You’ll get an easy dose of protein without the heaviness and guilt.

Take it one step further by trading the regular potatoes for sweet potatoes, providing dietary fiber, Vitamin B6 and potassium, and you can be sure everyone will load up on their now guiltless guilty pleasure.

Protein Filled Potato Chips & Dip

If you can limit yourself to one or two chips and a small dab of dip, you are an inspiration as well as a freak of nature (how do you do it?!). For the rest of us, there are plenty of ways to snack smart without completely losing sight of our goals.

Try Red, White & Blue Corn Chip Bites:

  1. You will need 20 blue corn tortilla chips
  2. Add ¾ cup salsa
  3. Warm Mexican Cojita cheese

The whole grain chips are a great source of fiber and the cheese is rich in protein, so together, they work to keep you fuller, meaning you won’t overdo it before you get to the good stuff. If you want to skip chips altogether, give vegetable dippers such as carrots, celery, hicama, and cauliflower a try. You’ll satisfy your craving for crunch but with less sodium.

Grill Your Fruit Salad

A seemingly innocent addition to the potluck…until you realize it’s been stirred together with two heaping cups of sugar. If you’re looking for something refreshingly sweet without the toothache, try a super easy Grilled Watermelon, Pineapple and Mint Salad.

  1. Cut one small watermelon and one pineapple into 1-inch rounds.
  2. Toasting the rounds on a heated grill (2-3 minutes on each side) brings out the natural sweetness of the fruits without any added sugar.
  3. Add ½ cup chopped mint and a small sprinkle of salt (again, to enhance the sweetness)
  4. Stir it all together

Everyone loves a good excuse to use the grill, and this simple salad will be an unexpected dish that becomes an instant favorite.

Swap Traditional Ice Cream for Patriotic Popsicles

Nothing hits the spot after a long day in the sun more than a cone piled high with melty, delicious ice cream. Unfortunately, that treat can also hit the trouble spots you’ve been working on with 14g of fat and nearly 275 calories. The easiest way to soothe your sweet tooth without spending the rest of the weekend doing sprints is to add some fruit.

Adults and kids alike will love Patriotic Popsicles, and they’re so easy to prepare the night before the big cookout:

  1. Divide 1 ½ cups of blueberries and 1 cup of raspberries evenly across 10 freezer-pop molds.
  2. Pour two cups of limeade evenly over the berries and place in the freezer for about 6 hours.

A healthy dessert full of vitamins and antioxidants? God bless America, indeed.

Still can’t shake your need for ice cream? Totally understandable. Feel great about every last lick by ignoring the hot fudge and caramel toppings and choosing berries instead. A mix of raspberries, blueberries and blackberries can come to less than 50 calories while serving up a deliciously tart helping of Vitamin C, which can boost everything from the immune system to skin health.

The Founding Fathers didn’t go through all of that so that you had to sit in the corner with a pile of plain kale waving a mini American flag in surrender. The Fourth of July is a celebration, after all, so exercise your freedom and enjoy your barbeque without completely ruining all of the fantastic progress you’ve made. Healthy choices can be just as delicious, so make the easy changes and get ready to rock that star-spangled bikini!

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Christie Cash
Christie Cash

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