I’ve been living the low-carb lifestyle with Atkins for quite some time now, and over the years I’ve learned some tried-and-true tips for navigating barbecues, picnics and potlucks—many of the things you’re sure to encounter this weekend, in addition to fireworks and flags. But if you stick with protein, healthy fats, fiber-rich vegetables, some fruit and even a few selected whole grains, you’ll be able to enjoy the holiday without drastic swings in your blood sugar or damage to your waistline. Read on for more tips on having a low-carb 4th of July:
Get your snack on. Chow down on an Atkins bar or sip on an Atkins shake before heading to the main event. If it’s all-day fun in the sun at the beach or pool, at a park or on a boat, keep your appetite in check with almonds, kale chips, string cheese, cut-up veggies, hard-boiled eggs and Atkins bars and shakes, and remember to stay hydrated with plenty of water. You can even freeze some Atkins treats ahead of time (Dark Chocolate Raspberry Squares, Dark Chocolate Fudge Squares or Caramel Nut Chew Bar) and keep them in your cooler.
Fill up on veggies. Fresh veggies can be the star of the show, starting with cut-up veggies dipped in avocado salsa, and plenty of side dish options, such as grilled veggies (try Veggie Kebabs and Grilled Asparagus with Lemon), salads (Watermelon, Feta and Cucumber Salad is festive and refreshing), and dishes featuring spiralized zucchini and summer squash.
Pick your protein. Almost any gathering will feature plenty of protein options, such as hamburgers, hot dogs, steak or fish. Skip the bun, enjoy a lettuce-wrapped burger, fill the rest of your plate with veggies, and you have the perfect low-carb meal.
Enjoy a guilt-free grand finale. Even in Phase 2 of Atkins, you can have fresh raspberries, blueberries and strawberries with a dollop of heavy cream. If you’re in Phase 3 or Atkins 40™, there’s nothing more perfect for a 4th of July celebration than a slice of fresh watermelon or Flag Cake.
And remember, even if you indulge in a few too many carbs over the holiday weekend, you have all the tools you need to survive a diet slip-up and get back on track.