Yep, it’s the unofficial last picnic bash for the summer, it's the Labor Day weekend! For most people, it’s a time to try and work on the things they did NOT get a chance to do over the summer. Even though we have beautiful weather over most of these United States, well into September and October, people see the date on the calendar and are already making plans for the upcoming holiday shopping season.

But before they start digging out their Halloween decorations, they get their outside party games ready, along with making sure there’s enough propane in the cylinder for their gas grills, or charcoal depending on your preference on outdoor cooking. Because nothing says Labor Day holiday weekend like a family and friends’ cookout!

This means plenty of delicious foods, from freshly picked sweetcorn to Aunt Lucy’s famous baked beans, and don't forget Uncle Rob’s sticky-sweet barbecue sauce for both ribs and chicken. Yes, the Labor Day weekend party bash festivities are intertwined around whats on the picnic table that you and your guests can graze on all weekend long.

But as you start your picnic food gathering prep, don’t forget about your health goals. With a few simple tips, you can survive the holiday without deviating from your healthy habits. Follow these tips to enjoy your Labor Day Weekend and still feel great when it’s over:

Stay Active: 

Because you've already been working at being healthy and have incorporated brisk walking into your daily regimen, don't let being a holiday stop you from continuing your daily walking routines. On the contrary, keep on schedule with your walking program, but with family and your friends visiting, why not get them to join you so you can all work up an appetite for that holiday cookout fare, or better yet, have everyone lace up their shoes and go for a walk after you've all chowed down on that holiday fare. You may find it a little hard to get a few of them to join you but by using the old "Carrot and the Stick" method. Why not pick up a few accurate but low-cost pedometers, to entice them to join you while letting them keep track of just how many calories they can lose by walking!  One that fits the bill is the  SM2000 Step Pedometer, from   After all, everyone likes a little incentive now and then, and the SM2000 besides being an accurate step counter, it also comes in a wide variety of colors for those of your family and friends that like to sport fashionable colors!  With everyone armed with their pedometer, get them hooked on the idea of counting those steps on a daily basis and keep in contact with each other after the holiday party is over to compare just how well each is doing against the other.

Don’t Skip Meals
Never attend a party on an empty stomach! Fasting before a party in an effort to save room and cut calories often leads to poor food choices and overeating. Eating a nutrient-dense meal before an event will help you be more mindful of what you’re putting on your plate and enable you to practice better portion control. For example, eggs with whole grain toast and a piece of fruit is a simple, easy way to start any holiday off on the right track.

Pot Luck
Take control of your food choices by making sure healthy options are available. Bring a healthy dish that everyone will enjoy! Experiment with a new recipe, or put a healthy spin on a summer favorite.

Portion Control
Overeating is one of the most common reasons why healthy habits are derailed during holidays. To keep your portions in check, don’t stand next to the food table and graze. Instead, use a plate to portion your food. This way, you know exactly what and how much you are eating. Fill up on fruits and vegetables first. After eating these tasty and healthy foods, you are more likely to enjoy smaller helpings of heavy calorie bombs foods later.

Pick your Battles
It’s a holiday, so of course, we all want to treat ourselves. To avoid overindulging, pick just one poison! Whether it’s a piece of cake or an extra hamburger, set a goal and stick to it! Having a goal will prevent you from over-indulging in a little bit of everything, which can quickly add up to too many calories.

Make Modifications
Every little bite counts. Aim to improve your favorite dishes with healthier ingredients. Choose whole-wheat rolls and buns instead of white. Substitute a traditional mayo-based potato salad with a vinegar base for a lighter dish. Cook with leaner meats such as chicken, fish, and turkey. Finally, load the grill with tons of vegetables to add healthy flavors to the party!

Again, remember this is a holiday gathering among family and friends, and if you keep portion control in mind, throughout the holiday, along with working in some playtime physical activity during the day, you’re not going to do too much damage to the healthy routines you’ve tried to maintain throughout the year.

Happy Labor Day from the gang here at


BarbecueEating right on labor dayGrillingLabor dayLabor day exercisesLabor day holiday foodLabor day picnicPortion control at holiday parties