Spicy BBQ wings, dripping sauces, delectable dips, and desserts laden with chilled icing seem to be attacking from all sides. I know my waist band will be under siege this 4th of July but we can do our best to ward off pesky summer holiday pounds. Dare to fight off the extra inches and still fit into your swimming suit this Independence Day with a few helpful hints.

Don’t stand near the food table!

If you’re like me and will be attending a fun filled barbeque with friends this summer, station yourself as far away from the food table as possible. When I arrive at my festivities I’ll be plunking our chairs near one of the gardens. The farther away you are from the food the less likely you will be to randomly eat just because you can.

Bring a chilled water bottle

Drinking water before eating helps to make you feel full faster, and the hydration improves digestion. Keeping a chilled bottle of water with you also gives you something to sip when you just feel like putting something to your lips and is a lot more friendly than a plate of chips.

Watch your beverage calories

In the summer heat we tend to drink more, but we have to be careful how many calories are in those beverages. Keeping that chilled water bottle near you at all times helps to make sure that you don’t reach your caloric intake on iced coffees, cool cocktails, or even sodas. Look for recipes and drink mixes that give you something with flavor but don’t add extra sugar and calories to your summer menu. Offer diet sodas, zero calorie water drink mixes (the scale friendly version of Kool Aid), and even things like the 10 calorie Margareta drink mix I’ll be bringing on the 4th of July.

Bring some healthy options

This 4th of July I’ll be making some desserts to bring to the BBQ, but I’ll be including those that have fresh fruit like strawberries. I’m also cutting out calories and fat by using a sugar substitute and replacing oil in the cake with applesauce, and using egg whites instead of whole eggs (just don’t tell my kids all of my secrets!)

Bring yard games to play

I’m probably like many people I eat more when I have the time. Bocce ball, Frisbee, croquet, bean bag toss games, and even a remote controlled helicopter for the guys in your life can keep you, your family, and friends busy with summer time fun that doesn’t have you standing around the food table. If there is room you can even set up an inexpensive badminton net that can double as volleyball net with a beach ball. If you’re going to be near the water, don’t forget the buckets for sandcastles and the flippers for swimming. Keep moving and maybe you’ll be able to have your cake and eat it, too without gaining a pound.

This Independence Day you don’t have to lose your freedom to wear your clothes comfortably or step on the scale without worry. Eat, drink, and be merry, but do it while you keep moving and keep your calories in check. Enjoy those fireworks!

I Feel Fat Should I Hire A Personal Trainer to Lose Weight?

I may be repeating myself here since I have mentioned this before, but the truth is that if connecting to the process of well-being were easy, we would all be in phenomenal shape.

However, since weight related issues are at an all-time high, one would have to assume that starting, but even more significantly, maintaining a lifestyle consisting of healthy habits is rather challenging.

“I feel fat and…look fat”

I personally understand this behavior because it was my own reality. Back in the day, I had a LOT of weight to lose and like many of you, I felt pretty lost about what to do.

As soon as I would find a method to try out I would either lose interest or become easily distracted by life. My habits were inconsistent and I needed help, although I had no idea where it would come from. I only knew I couldn’t do this on my own. And then one day as luck would have it, my help came in the form of a personal trainer and it ended up being one of the best gifts I could have ever asked for.

Finding a Personal Trainer… who understands what makes you tick…

While not all personal trainers are created equal, finding one that is qualified, educated and dedicated to helping you reach your goals can be a huge asset. These are professionals that have not only learned about the human body, but have also taken the time to understand what makes us tick and how to help dissolve the self-imposed limitations that so many of us unintentionally create in our subconscious.

Why you should work with a personal trainer

Here are just a few reasons to consider working with a personal trainer. While I understand that finances come to mind when thinking about this, I will point out that quite often when we make a decision to let something into our lives, things have a way of working themselves out.

1. Personal Trainers understand the human body

Qualified personal trainers have been educated to understand the human body and how it was meant to move. When it comes to designing an exercise program, there is a lot to take into consideration. Muscle imbalances, tight joints and inadequate range of motion are a few important factors that are considered when it comes to exercising for maximum benefit and since these aren’t the types of things you would be able to assess on your own, this is where having a professional comes in handy. For example, if your daily routine consists of mostly sitting, you may have tight hip flexors which could hinder proper range of motion in the hip joints and interfere with other movements, such as walking. Your trainer would be able to spot something like this and include specific exercises in your program designed to fix it.

2. Personal Trainers hold you accountable and keep you consistent

When left on our own to go to the gym or remove the clothes from the treadmill and actually walk on it, often enough life happens and interrupts even our best intentions. However, cancelling on someone whose time you have paid for in advance isn’t quite so easy. Hiring a personal trainer means that you have committed yourself to a goal that only an emergency would interfere with and this not only produces results, but your trainer knows what excuses sound like and will hold you to the promise you made to yourself.

3. Personal Trainers are a positive influence

While some of your well-meaning friends and loved ones will inadvertently thwart your intentions to live a healthy lifestyle by dragging you along to the bar or out for ribs, when you have someone in your life you will report your behavior to, you will begin to make smarter choices. The time you spend with your trainer is all about YOU. When you are around others who aren’t practicing the new healthy habits you are implementing in your life, you may feel alone and out of place, but by having an ally in your corner encouraging you to be different by treating yourself and your body with the dignity and respect you deserve, you will feel more aligned with your intentions.

The best of the best are using Personal Trainers. Why not me?

Whether we’re talking about professional athletes or investors…even the best of the best use coaches and advisors to help them reach their potential, so why not you?

The trainer that came into my life was a life saver for me:

He encouraged me, praised every exercise I did and I never felt alone in the journey.
I had someone in my corner and it helped me make wise food choices throughout the day.
He got me moving at the crack of dawn when I would have never been motivated enough to do this on my own.
I lost the first 25 pounds working with this trainer and even though I could no longer financially afford to continue after a couple of months…had it not been for this person helping me to get started, I don’t know where I would be now.

More accurately…I don’t want to know where I would be now. What’s your opinion?
Well, you read Dana’s story who lost 25 pounds with the help of a Personal Trainer and now is a certified PT herself helping and motivating other people to get healthy. What would you do?