7 Ways to Survive a 4th of July Cookout

By , SparkPeople Blogger
Need help resisting a second or third helping? Or do you need willpower to make smart choices?

Check out these tips from dailySpark readers, who share
How to Resist Overeating at a Party:

  1. Keep a water bottle in your hand or close by. Stay hydrated instead of stuffed. (Dozens of you suggested this. A GREAT tip!)

  2. "I grab a plate with a reasonable portion of a snack, and go across the room to talk to my friends instead of letting them come to me at the snack table." NOAPOLOGIES

  3. "I bring something that I can snack on to share with everyone. I also count out a serving and try to plan ahead of time." BIGGESTWINNERS

  4. "I usually bring a vegetable or fruit tray to the party… I allow myself to have small portions of my favorites, so I don't feel deprived." SINCERELYSUSAN2

  5. "I try to eat something healthy before getting to the party so I'm less likely to overeat there." ANGELDIMPLES14

  6. "I don't arrive overly hungry, only eat fruits and veggies and piece of something grilled, then I head to the volleyball court." FUTURESIZE5

  7. "Chew gum." SWERVES_1

If you need more great tips, check out the comments our readers left here.

Be sure to read our BBQ Survival Guide before heading to any 4th of July or belated Canada Day cookouts this holiday weekend!

Click here to to redeem your SparkPoints
  You will earn 5 SparkPoints
See more: tips


If I know I am going to a party I plan ahead. Once there, I fill up on the fruit vegg and salad and I one or two less healthier items in small amounts. Report
I drink a lot of water and Iced tea-that helps with hunger. I also choose the fresh fruits and veggies and unless I make the pasta salad I avoid most mayo based salads and opt for coleslaw or fruit salad/jello's. I do eat a burger or a hot dog, but have worked that into my plan. I don't think of food as "bad" and I merely cut back and don't pig out. I still eat chips, just way fewer than I did couple years ago, eventhough I do try to avoid really salty food. Report
I love watermelon Report
JIBBIE49 That's what I usually say.

"I just ate" or "I'm not that hungry, but everything looks fantastic, do you have any water?" usually appeases a host or hostess. Report
I made my Fourth of July cookout healthier with the SP recipe for Shannon's Greek Turkey Burgers, and everyone agreed they were AWESOME! http://www.sparkpeople.com/myspark/
Lots of great suggestions here!!! A good friend, who is very slim and trim, gave me a piece of jewelry as a gift. When I wear it, It's a visual/tactile reminder that if I stick to my goals, I can be slim and trim too. Report
Just say "I already ate." LOL Report
I don't restrict myself when I go for an event like that. The way I deal with it is to make that particular meal my cheat meal. Eat well for the rest of the week; have some fun at the party and listen to my body. No need to feel guilty or sorry, just enjoy a little moment with my friends and families. Report
An Impromptu party is at our home this year, so I am making a recipe called veggie bars, which is all fat free or reduced fat. We're providing salsa and chips and that's it. We'll load our cooler with plenty of water. I'm like other folks, leaving it up to our guests to bring what they want to eat. We're grilling ourselves buffalo burgers minus the buns for a lower fat meat and lower carb mea. Yum! Happy 4th of July to all!!! Report
What IS the point of going to a COOKOUT if you are not going to eat. It is possible to have a family gathering without food. Report
Ever try portobello mushroom burgers?..delicious..just grill on Bbq. I make sure there are a lot of veggies and fruit available..these can be grilled also. keep the deserts very light..there are so many healthy desserts available right here on Spark! And yes, keep water handy, I put lemon in mine and a wedge on the rim..makes me feel like I'm having a fancy drink lol! Kebabs are great..these can be made with scallops, chicken, lean beef., lots of veggies!.so you only get a small portion! Large bowls of mixed salads also! Report
We're just grilling burgers at home, so I bought high fiber buns, red/yellow/orange peppers, onions, and mushrooms to make veggie kabobs as a side, and bought watermelon for dessert. Report
The party is at my house so I am able to control some of what is served. I bought lots of strawberries and blueberries. So I can fill up on that. Report
You never disappoint us, Stepfanie! Thanks for bringing us the bestest of the bestest advice. There's one completely non-food, non-beverage suggestion I'd add: Think about the folks you'll be with and bone up on potential conversation topics. While you're drinking that water, engage in lots of conversation. After all, talking while eating isn't too pretty.. Report
Great tools - thanks Report
I'm having a hard time with the word survive. I've learned enough on SP and from my spark friends that I don't assosiate eathing with piging out just because it's a holiday. What and how much are a choice and I'll be just fine. My holiday started on my 1st day of SP and hasn't stopped for the last 2 years.
Have a great holiday...Chef Jim Report
Bring Watermelon for dessert is a great finish to any BBQ picnic.
I take along Vitamin Water too......... Report
Timely reminder, excellent tips. Since sparking a lifestyle change, I have little trouble skipping the mayonnaise-y salads, etc. I don't go so far as to take my own food, just try to exercise moderation. Report
I have just finished packing my lunch for the picnic with individual portions. I'm taking my own turkey burger and pineapple on the grill for dessert. Glad you reminded me to take my water bottle. Report
I'm in charge of the food shopping. So i know there's always something i eat and that's healthy. don't particularly enjoy the planning part but it's better than allowing my parents to "imagine" what i would eat. Report
I usually eat something before I go - and then usually just drink my water while I'm there and maybe have some fresh fruit (if available).
Or - sometimes I take my own food to put on the grill. Report
Those are great tips. I'm known as the "healthy food" person for any type of food get-together, because I always bring either a big salad or a vegetable tray. That way I know there will always be a great choice for me, no matter what else is there. I fill up on that first, & then go from there. I also try to bring something different that's new each time, like when I bring something to a church dinner. One time it was sliced yellow squash & zucchini; another time it was mini bell peppers of different colors; another time I brought a spring salad & had garbanzo beans on it. It's surprising how many people have never tried the squash or red/yellow/orange pepper! And the spring salad - "what's this squiggly stuff?" "what are these round things?" I always try to encourage people to at least try the new things, & for the most part, they do! Unfortunately, I haven't gotten anyone to keep eating many of them, but I'm trying! Report
I think all are super ideas especially since summer is here and there will be alot of BBQ parties.. Report
A timely help for all of us. Thank you! Report

Excellent tip with the water! Report
Thx for the tips! I will use the water bottle one, eating before I go, and reasonable portion plate. Report
Eat healthy choices before you go to the party. Report
What about watermelon...yummy!! And you can pig out!!! Report
Close email sign up
Our best articles, delivered Join the millions of people already subscribed Get a weekly summary of our diet and fitness advice We will never sell, rent or redistribute your email address.

Magic Link Sent!

A magic link was sent to Click on that link to login. The link is only good for 24 hours.