Memorial weekend is here, are you ready to take on the challenge of the long weekend. If you hadn’t caught the summer bug by now, by Monday you’ll have a full-on case of summer fever. Once again, barbecues and picnics will be waiting to lure you in with their potato salads, grills full of burgers and brats and coolers making ice cold beers readily available.

You’ve probably spent the better part of the spring focused on losing weight for summer. Hopefully, this weekend you’ll be able to show-off your new figure. Should you decide to forego the diet rules this weekend, it doesn’t mark the end of a diet, nor signify that you’ve thrown it all away. You should be prepared to wake up the next morning and start right where you left off.

Here are five Memorial Day diet tips that are sure to help you make health conscious decisions this weekend, still enjoy the festivities, and wake-up guilt-free on Tuesday.

1. Grill a Healthy Alternative. Swap your beef burgers for turkey burgers or a grilled portobella mushroom cap. Try a turkey brat instead of the traditional fat-laden bratwurts. Or, try one of these healthy grill recipes for chicken, pork and fish.

2. Eat on the Lighter Side. Ditch the heavily dressing-laden sides like potato salad, cole slaw and pasta salads for something fresher. Grill corn on the cob or a variety of other vegetables, offer a fresh garden salad with a vinaigrette dressing, keep plenty of fresh seasonal fruits on hand, or guacamole, salsa or hummus with blue corn chips and pita.

3. Don’t Drink Your Calories. Remember, the calorie content in alcoholic beverages can add to your budget quickly. Limit yourself to light beers or red wine. Have a water in between alcoholic beverages, or stick to water completely. You’ll want to limit the amount of soda, lemonade, juice and punch as well.

4. Get up and Play! Take some comfortable shoes or change of clothes and participate in any activities taking place at the event. Get in on a volleyball game, dive in the pool and swim laps, play catch or paddle the canoe. Anything that gets you out of the lawn chair and moving is going to help burn off the hot dogs and soda.

5. Control Your Environment. If you’re not hosting, don’t relinquish all control to those who are. Offer to bring a side, dessert, main entree or beverage, or even your badminton set. That way, you’ll introduce some healthier options at the picnic and even encourage some activity if there wasn’t going to be any.

Managing your weight loss even through the most indulgent of food-focused holidays really comes down to choices and preparedness. If you choose to eat only the unhealthy foods, sit in a lawn chair and drink all day, the repercussions are obvious. However, if you treat yourself a little bit, stay active, and focus on eating more nutritous food choices, then you’ll feel better and prove to yourself that sometimes you really can have your cake and eat it, too!

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