What were they thinking when they put the 4th of July Weekend right in the middle of swimsuit season?

We hope you all had a wonderful Fourth of July! Even though that holiday is behind us, we’re sure you all have many other summertime celebrations coming up that will include good friends and GREAT food. These tips from Ellen Resnick will help you stay on track with your eating and weight loss goals, whether it’s a late Independence Day celebration or a backyard cookout! 

Hotdogs! Hamburgers! Barbecue! What were they thinking?

I woke up early this morning and asked my husband this question.

His reply? “They weren’t thinking about that,”  he said.

Not thinking ahead is exactly the same problem many dieters have when it comes to holiday weekend eating; they aren’t thinking or planning ahead. Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about the concept of having a conversation with yourself prior to eating. It’s the antidote to eating on auto pilot or mindlessly.

Here are some common thinking problems and helpful responses associated with holiday weekend eating.

1. “I don’t feel like planning.”—Do it anyway.

2. “It’s a holiday. Everyone’s having hotdogs and burgers!”—So can you.

Decide if you’ll have Hoffy low-fat dogs or Hebrew National fat free. You want the “real deal”? Go for it—once. Dr. Melina Jampolis, a board certified physician nutrition specialist suggests ‘build a better burger.’  Use extra lean ground turkey or extra lean ground beef mixed with equal parts ground mushrooms (cuts calories in 1/2 without cutting serving size), use whole wheat bun or thin sandwich roll, romaine lettuce instead of iceberg for nutritional boost, and spread with triangle of laughing cow lite cheese instead of regular cheese.  Of course your favorite mustard is better than mayo.

You can even add a little honey to make it tastier.

3. “I don’t want to stand out by bringing a low calorie dish.”—Why not bring something healthy and delicious? It’s hard not to be happy about all the terrific summer fruits and vegetables.

4. “I want to enjoy myself.”—Great, so in addition to delicious, healthy foods, what else can you focus on? How about the pursuit of happiness? How about a hike, playing in the pool, the beach or a game of croquet?

Doing extra exercise is a great strategy for expending extra calories and feeling a sense of freedom (runners’ high). If all else fails, get back on track and give yourself credit for doing so.

If the Founding Fathers had to wear bikinis to the signing of the Declaration of Independence, they would have been as thoughtful about what they ate as they were about the words that helped give birth to this great country.

Hope you had a fabulous 4th!


Ellen is a psychotherapist in private practice in San Francisco and Redwood City, California. She specializes in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and incorporates the use of mindfulness into the treatment of depression, anxiety, and emotional overeating. She runs a holistic weight loss program called Center for Thoughtful Weight Loss, www.thoughtfulweightloss.com. You can email Ellen at ellen@thoughtfulweightloss.com

Copyright © 2011 Ellen N. Resnick, LCSW

Reprinted with permission by HealthyWage.


  1. Good reminder to plan ahead!

  2. Toni says:

    Here! Here! I never talk about how healthy a dish is that I bring, i just make a yummy (healthy) dish and then tell people when they ask. And, they always ask! Walking into a BBQ, picnic or potluck knowing i have something healthy puts me in charge. And that keeps me in charge!

  3. Hello. I’m a training psychotherapist here in the Bay Area. I look forward to your insight!

    Alison Panko

  4. ellenresnick says:

    Carol, feel free to contact me to discuss how to identify ways to self soothe your feelings without food. Ellen@thoughtfulweightloss.com

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