During the summer season, it can be hard to resist eating unhealthy foods and drinking unhealthy drinks.We know that all of the people around you will most likely be tempting you with high calorie desserts and snacks, so we’re giving you ways to avoid the temptation! Here are some tips to help you avoid regretting your summer cookouts, parties and vacations while still being able to have a great time and enjoy your food!

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1. Don’t Go On An Empty Stomach: Showing up to a BBQ with nothing in your stomach is asking for a feeding frenzy beyond belief. The hunger pains will tempt you to eat anything in sight, which is most likely all unhealthy snacks. You’ll pig out on unnecessary fat and calories and probably still find a way to eat a full entree. Before you get to the BBQ, eat something small so it holds you over until the main course!

2. Eat Healthiest Foods First: Starting off your outing with the healthiest foods first helps you avoid the unhealthy foods later. Filling up on salads, fruit, vegetables and healthy proteins won’t have you feeling crazed for desserts and unnecessary snacks. When it’s your turn to get in line for food, go straight for the salads, fruit, and vegetables and you’ll have less of an issue turning down the cake!

3. Grab A Small Plate: For some reason when filling our plates, we often behave like it is the last meal we are ever going to eat. Ever. We tend to grab a large plate and overflow the dish with goodies. Buffets, cookouts, you name it – we all do it. To eliminate this behavior, just grab a smaller plate. Even if you overload it (because sometimes we just can’t help it!), you’ll still have smaller portions and your mind will be tricked into thinking you hit the jackpot!

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4. Bring Your Favorite Dish: As a potluck dish, bring one of your favorite, healthy recipes. This will allow you to rest easy knowing you’ll have at least one healthy, tasty option to choose from. Need some skinny ideas? Check out Skinny Mom’s Skinny Appetizers index and Skinny Appetizers Pinterest board!

5. Eliminate Sweet and Sugary Drinks: Whether you’re drinking alcohol or virgin drinks, make sure you’re mindful of the empty calories! A lot of festive drinks are full of sugar which can end up being more unhealthy than the food you eat! Margaritas, frozen daiquiris, and certain juices can end up accounting for most of your calories if you indulge in too many. Check out some of Skinny Mom’s Skinny Drink options!

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6. Eat a Small Dessert: If you treat healthy eating as a lifestyle and not a fad diet, you understand that deprivation does not help you achieve your goals. Deprivation only causes a total lapse in judgment later and you find yourself scouring your pantry like a crazed animal! If you want a sweet, have a sweet. Keep portion control in mind and consider what you’ve already eaten and what you plan to eat later. Healthy eating is about comprise and smart decision making. Make a decision to split your dessert with someone or if you are served a full size, immediately cut it in half and get rid of the other half so you aren’t tempted.  I understand how it feels when the dessert table is eyeing you from across the room. Just be smart about it!

7. Be Active: After you’ve eaten and digested your meal, get up and move around! Walk around and mingle with friends, toss a frisbee with your kids, go swimming or play catch! Any type of movement will make you feel better after a big meal and it will occupy you from mindlessly snacking.