Make the Fourth of July Healthy Again


Okay... Maybe the Fourth of July was never really THAT healthy in the first place. Barbecues and beers are, after all, the standard staples of any Independence Day celebration. For a lot of us, the timing is pretty terrible.

Think about it: You set your resolutions back in January. You've either been hammering away at your health and wellness goals for half a year, or you've recently gone into crunch mode to try to get into shape in time for summer.

Hopefully, you've been using your FitTrack Dara to track your progress so that you can have an easier time staying motivated as well.

Now, however, it's time for barbecues, beers, and hot dogs.

The way we see it, you're left with three options.

OPTION ONE: GO HAM FOR THE WEEKEND
(AND REGRET IT LATER)

In this scenario, you RSVP with a hearty affirmative to each and every Fourth of July invitation you received this year. That means multiple hot dogs on the same day. The obligatory round of drinks with friends and family at each stop. Staggering Uber fares (or staggering home, just please don't drive). When it's all over, you'll probably feel TERRIBLE for roughly a week afterwards.

Will you have fun? Maybe for like... two hot dogs.

Will your FitTrack report show healthy progress? Probably not.

OPTION TWO: FIND A FOXHOLE AND HIDE

In this scenario, you still RSVP with a hearty affirmative to each and every Fourth of July invitation you received this year. But this time, you're just being nice. Instead of actually showing up, you run to Kroger and pick up the following supplies: chips, chocolate, and soda. You wrap yourself in your favorite blanket, binge watch that series you've already seen seven times on Netflix (for us, it's Friends) and then head to your balcony or bedroom window to watch the fireworks light up the sky.

Will you have fun? Maybe for like... three episodes.

Will your FitTrack report show healthy progress? Probably not.

OPTION THREE: YOU CELEBRATE INDEPENDENCE DAY WITHOUT COMPROMISING YOUR HEALTH

We know, it sounds crazy, but you CAN enjoy the Fourth of July without completely compromising your health.

The best part? You actually get to go to a barbecue!

Here's our how-to guide to make the Fourth of July healthy again:

FIRST, you're going to have to be upfront with your fellow revellers or else everyone is going to inadvertently knock you off your healthy wagon. Keep in mind that self-care and wellness have never been as popular as they are today, so don't worry about anyone giving you a hard time. 

OUR SECRET STRATEGY? Volunteer to be the designated driver to whatever party you're going to. Your friends and family will appreciate the fact that they no longer need to find a way home, and no one will be tempting you with shots of bourbon all night long.

WHILE YOU'RE AT IT, just because everyone you know invited you to their party doesn't mean you have to go to every. single. party. Choose your battles wisely this year. Opt for the low-key cookout down around the corner instead of the raging kegger that's happening on fraternity row.

PRACTICE THE ART OF MODERATION if you do wind up at a more rowdy get-together. As a general rule of thumb, try to stick to 2-3 alcoholic beverages at the most in an evening. Don't forget to stay hydrated, either.

ON THAT NOTE, pick your poison carefully. Sugary mixed drinks are loaded with extra calories that you definitely won't be needing. Certain alcoholic beverages, like red wine, have been linked to health benefits, so keep that in mind as well.

NOW LET'S TALK ABOUT THOSE HOT DOGS. Are they sandwiches, or are they tacos? Perhaps we'll never know. What we do know is that it's generally unwise to eat a copious amount of them. We understand that some barbecue traditions seem inalienable, but this one certainly isn't. If you're in the enviable position of designing an Independence Day menu this year, why not elevate the experience?

There are tons of fantastically delicious AND healthy barbecue options to explore:

1) Feta-stuffed turkey burgers (Greek's never been so American)
2) Omega-3 rich seafood options (like salmon). You can read why this type of fat is so good for you here.
3) Steak and/or chicken skewers
4) Vegetables

YES, VEGETABLES.

You should absolutely be eating your vegetables this Fourth of July long weekend. Getting salads in with your meals (or having salads AS meals) is one easy way. But try to go as plant-based as possible. We promise you'll feel WAY better than if you go straight up carnivore all weekend long. Try grilling mushrooms, zucchini, eggplant... come to think about it, just about any vegetable is grillable.

LASTLY, don't forget to get out there and move this weekend. It might be tempting to embrace the long and lazy nature of the holiday weekend, but if you can fit some weightlifting, a run, a long walk, or a HIIT workout in between the celebrations, you'll have a MUCH easier time bouncing back. 

You'll also notice that whatever indulgences you do partake in, they'll have less of an effect on your overall health.

Is all of this too overwhelming?

Do you find yourself already shaking your head at the thought of staying motivated to stay healthy during one of the biggest celebrations of the year?

Use FitTrack before you head into the long weekend and track your daily health by monitoring 17 different indicators. Keep an eye on your hydration, body fat %, and other indicators throughout the weekend and check your report when it's all over so that you can understand what all of those hot dogs have done. 

Or, better yet, so you can pat yourself on the back when it's all over, knowing you made the Fourth of July Healthy again without compromising your health.

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