Top Ten Ways to Cut Calories at a Picnic

Summer is one of the best times to increase your healthy habits such as eating more fruits and vegetables or increasing your exercise when the weather is nice.  With the Fourth of July just around the corner, here are some tips and tricks for the buffet that won’t break your calorie budget.


1.  Don’t let any food touch each other.  For example, don’t let your potato salad touch your sandwich and so forth.

2.  Keep your food inside the rim of your plate.

3.  Give yourself two “cheat” items such as potato salad or snicker salad. Make it only a spoonful, though.

4.  Load up on the fresh fruit and vegetables first.

5.  Remember to get a lean source of protein.  Sometimes all the fruits and vegetables will have you full but after that hour you will be coming back for more. There are so many turkey sausage varieties too!

6.  Watch out for the condiments – mustard contains no calories.  Pickles give nice flavor with less than five calories.

7.  If you want a decadent dessert and yes only one, cut your portion size into half. 

8.  Keep hydrated.  Make sure to drink your water before and during the party.  Add lemon to your water to give it some flavor but skip the lemonade which is usually loaded with sugar. Studies have shown if you drink just 16 oz of water before every meal – you can lose weight!

9.  Pina colada or beer?  Go for the beer, margaritas, pina colada, etc are usually loaded with calories – sometimes more than a meals worth of calories.  A light beer is generally 110 calories or less.

10.  Make your plate last.  This is a great time to do this because you can enjoy the company of your friends or family while you chew your food slowly.  Remember it takes the brain about 20 minutes to remember that you are full.  So make your plate at least the 20 to 25 minutes.


These are all very basic concepts but sometimes we may forget them in the hustle and bustle of everything.  Follow these few simple tips and you won’t be scared of buffets lines anymore!  It is all about moderation!  Enjoy!