Although Labor Day was traditionally meant to celebrate the achievements of workers in the United States, Labor Day weekend has come to have many meanings to Americans. It is the close of summer and the exciting start to the coming fall months. It is a time to make memories with friends and family and celebrate some time together before the busy school year gets into full swing. And for many of us, it also means sharing a delicious outdoor meal with those closest to us!
So many holidays are celebrated by sharing food and fun with friends and family, and Labor Day is no exception. But for many people, this shared meal can come with a lot of anxiety that can take away from the fun. “Is this burger good for me? Will this pasta salad fit in my diet?” Do these thoughts sound familiar?
Our REBEL Dietitians want to help you Taste the Sweet Rebellion and dismiss the fad diets, embrace a balanced lifestyle, and meet your weight loss and wellness goals in a healthy way. Labor Day and other holidays should be fun and relaxing, not stressful and consumed by thoughts about food. So what should you do to Taste the Sweet Rebellion this Labor Day weekend? Here are our tips for a REBELLIOUS Labor Day mealtime makeover:
1. Don’t skip out on breakfast. Going to a luncheon or dinnertime barbecue? It can be tempting to skip breakfast in preparation. However, skipping breakfast will make you even hungrier later in the day, leading to ravenous hunger when you get to the party, and ultimately overeating. Try oatmeal with fruit or toast with peanut butter and apple slices.
2. Try a little bit of everything on your plate. A lot of times, cookouts and parties mean potlucks with a wide variety. Try a little bit of everything so you can try all of the tasty options! Pick your favorites if you go back for a second plate.
3. Incorporate fun foods. It is no fun while your friends and family are enjoying dessert and you are sitting on the sidelines worrying about sticking to your diet. Ditch the diet and enjoy fun foods! That way you can enjoy your favorite food in moderation instead of avoiding it all together.
4. Listen to your hunger and fullness signals. It is much too easy to overeat while socializing and focusing on everything BUT the meal in front of you. Take some time every few minutes to check in with yourself and gauge your hunger. Getting full? Slow down and check in more often. Feeling satisfied? Take a break and check in a few minutes later.
5. Taste the Sweet Rebellion! Resist the urge to focus solely on what you’re eating or how you are feeling about your body that day. Be fully present and enjoy this precious time with your friends and family without locking yourself in the diet prison.
6. Experiment with new festive recipes to start a new Labor Day Weekend tradition. Here are some of our fancier recipes for inspiration.
Blog updated September 2016.
Rebecca Bitzer loves to empower Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs) and their clients. Co-author of Welcome to the Rebelution: Seven steps to the nutrition counseling practice of your dreams and Taste the Sweet Rebellion: Rebel against dieting.