Enjoying fun occasions outdoors with friends and family is what summer is all about, and it is a great time of year to host a party at your home, because you can make full use of outdoor spaces like your garden, patio or pool. Of course, if you are dieting or are generally trying to follow a fitness plan, the idea of a party can be somewhat off putting – surely it will mean fattening foods, alcohol, and generally breaking the plan you have stuck so hard to for the day?
Actually, you can create a really fun summer party that will not be a challenge for your willpower. By serving up healthy food and drinks and arranging for activities that involve a lot of moving around, you and any of your friends who are also watching their fitness can have fun – and so can any guests who aren't so size or fitness conscious!
Here are some ideas:
Every party needs food, but just because you are going for healthy options doesn't mean you are limited to boring carrot and celery sticks with low fat dips!
Summer is barbecue season, and grilling is a very healthy way to cook meat or fish as you don't need to add any extra fat. Use lean cuts of meat like steaks, chicken or turkey fillets, or fish on the barbecue, and if you want to do burgers, make them yourself using the leanest ground beef. You can also throw vegetables like onions, corn on the cob, and asparagus on the grill as healthy sides.
You can also serve things like rice salad, pasta salad and potato salad, but avoid using full fat dressings (especially mayonnaise) and consider other options like fat free yoghurt based ones.
If you decide to serve alcoholic beverages, remember that the lowest calorie options are wine or hard liquor with calorie free mixers. Beer is the most calorie and carb laden drink, so if you are supplying beer for guests who want it, make sure there are some lower calorie options like diet cocktails and wine for yourself and anyone else who is watching their intake but still wants to drink at a party.
Encourage people to dress for an active day, and if you have a pool, make sure you supply things like balls and noodles that people can play with, rather than lilos for lying around doing nothing on! You can consider making an activity the centerpiece of your day, for example with mechanical bull rental, paintball, a softball match or a dance competition for your guests. These things ensure a fun and often hilarious time, but also get guests moving and sweating – ideal for those of you who are trying to lose weight or get fitter! You can also have things like ping pong, swing ball, or volleyball set up for people to play if you have the space.
Sticking to a fitness plan when you have a party can be easier than it sounds, and you can also make it the best party of the year for any friends who are also trying to reach weight or fitness goals!