The 4th of July is a great time to celebrate the GREAT Country we live in with your family and friends.

Most people will be celebrating at picnics and parties where you'll likely be surrounded by high fat foods, drinks, and desserts.

Let's face it – Foods laced in a ton of FAT and SUGAR! Not exactly the best environment for those trying to lose weight and stick to a healthy diet.  As we know, moderation is key.Here are a few EXTRA TIPS that will help you cut calories, yet give you the satisfaction of not having to deprive yourself!

1.       Skip the hot dog and have a grass-fed hamburger instead.

2.       Grill chicken breast with a NEW seasoning or marinade.

3.       Skip the bread with your burger (or at least make a better choice by having a whole grain bun.)

4.       Skip potato chips and choose veggies and hummus or guacamole dip.

5.       If you have to have chips, choose organic blue tortilla chips instead (with salsa of course!).

6.       Skip high sugar desserts and make a dish of Greek yogurt with fresh strawberries and blueberries, hence the red, white, and blue theme.

7.       Skip the deep-fried fries or mashed potatoes and make a sweet potato dish.

8.       Make your potato salad with mustard instead of mayo.

9.       Make a fresh salad with a ton of veggies and put the dressing in there lightly – oil and vinegar or balsamic vinaigrette. NO cream dressings.

10.   Use smaller plates! Have big portions of healthy items and smaller of not-so-healthy.

11.   Don't hang out near the food table!

12.   Drink light beer, red wine, and skip anything with soda! Make a pact with yourself to have a glass of water in between each drink.

13.   Bring a healthy dish YOU like and don't go hungry.

14.   If you're having the party, eat a little prior (healthy foods) so you don't splurge once everything is out.

15.   Send leftovers home with everyone else!

Use these tips to help you stay on track!

Wishing you and your family a Happy & Safe 4th of July!