An outdoor party doesn't need to be filled with weight gain. I have learned how to enjoy a party even more than before and still make it a healthy day. Try a few of these at your next outdoor gathering for health and

1. Bring a veggies most side dish to share! A big delicious salad, buffalo cauliflower bites, a giant veggie tray. Something that you know that you can fill 1/2 your plate with at mealtime and love it. Veggies are so fresh and delicious in the warmer months. Need a simple recipe, try this one: Spinach Berry Salad

2. Bring chicken sausages from Trader Joes to have the host grill up for you. They are delicious and not filled with nitrates like traditional hotdogs and brats. Or if it's a smoked meat kind of day, try to eat more meat than bread. It will fill you up more and keep you satisfied longer. 

3. Alternate your alcohol with water or sparkling water. Hot days are dehydrating! Fill your cooler with cans of sparkling water, fresh ice in a baggie, and bring your favorite cold cup with a straw. Every other drink should be water. Especially if you are using a can coozy, swapping out hard seltzers and non-alcoholic ones feels and looks natural. It's for your system AND reduces calories! This is one of the things that helps me the most. I still have a sipping drink in my hand and I can still drive home. I feel so much better the next day, too! 

4. Stay away from the food table and enjoy the company of others. Shift your BBQ focus from the food to the people. If you feel like you need to be snacking - your body wants those raw carrots more than the snacks of the same color or the freshly sliced cucumber with a little salt more than the chips. It's ok to dip them in your favorite dressing! 

5. Dessert is cool! Eat it! - But you don't need every single one.  Go for the homemade treats more than the store bought ones. If someone bakes their favorite cookies - the ingredients are cleaner than the ones in the package. Pick your favorites, add fruit to your plate, too and enjoy! 

The goal here is to change your MIND about the event first.  Going into it thinking "I can't eat... because I'm on a diet" makes you feel awful inside and much more likely to say "F it. It's one Day." But if you go into it thinking "I'm so excited for this party where I am happy to make healthy choices for my body today!" You are more likely to follow the tips above with pride and joy. 

Enjoy the Party!