7 Ways to a Leaner Labor Day

Make weight loss a no brainer at your Labor Day bash with these 7 dietitian tips to reduce calories and fat.

Healthy Food

Weight loss can be tough!  Especially when you deprive yourself of your favorite foods, avoid fun social events or overindulge just to have to start over the next day all in the quest to reach your weight loss goal.  Go lean this Labor Day without giving up the foods, flavors and fun you love!  These sneaky little tweaks to your foods can make eating a little healthier (and lower calorie) easy.  Let your diet loose in the best possible way this Labor Day with these 7 calorie-cutting swaps:

  1. Blend burgers with veggies for more flavor and fewer calories – Skip the all-beef or all-turkey patty and mix in minced veggies like mushrooms, bell peppers, onions, even black beans with the meat. Try pre-roasting or grilling the veggies for richer flavor.  Top your burger with even more fresh or grilled veggies in place of cheese and mayo for bonus points instead of calories.
  2. Swap in non-fat Greek yogurt for dips – Lower in calories and higher in protein than sour cream or mayo, non-fat Greek yogurt can be flavored with herbs and spices for delish dip.  This swap is becoming so popular that you can even find Greek yogurt dips at the store to save time. 
  3. Give bean-based dips a try this year – Lentils, white beans, black beans and pinto beans can all be pureed with your favorite seasonings and a little olive oil or veggie broth to create a protein-packed and nutritious pairing for veggies.
  4. Spice up your recipes – Did you get that chili just a little spicier than usual? Turkey burger has too many jalapeños?  Good.  Chances are you’ll be drinking a lot more water and eating a lot less of those spicy foods.  Make chilis part of the menu by throwing some on the grill to top burgers and salads with an added kick of flavor.
  5. Rethink the snack food – Opt for popcorn, jicama dippers and other veggies, fresh fruit, nuts, whole grain crackers with summery bruschetta and similar lower calorie choices in place of the standard chips for munching before the meal.
  6. Cut calories not flavor in drinks – Stick with iced tea flavored with a few slices of fruit or fresh, sweet berries or blend punch and juice with sparkling water for more drink with less calories.  For a cooling indulgence with fewer calories, make a sparkling margarita or wine spritzer by replacing a portion of the mixer or wine with sparkling water.
  7. Enjoy sweet rewards without the guilt – Granita, sorbet or even frozen fruits serve up a satisfying finish to your meal with fewer calories and less fat.  A drizzle of dark chocolate, dollop of whipped topping or some chopped nuts can add a touch more decadence and still keep calories in check.

Go lean this Labor Day and enjoy every minute of it!  Long term weight loss success often depends on finding little ways to cut calories, increase movement and stay motivated with a healthy lifestyle – whether it’s Labor Day or just another Monday.

Make your holiday even easier by ordering diet-friendly choices from your favorite restaurants.  Find dietitian recommended dishes like these with the nutrition information you need to reach your goals and enjoy every bite of your diet along the way.