05/30/2011 04:42 pm ET | Updated Jul 20, 2011

How To Avoid Overeating At Picnics

Do not read this if food management at the beach barbeque is easy for you.

But if you love a hot dog fresh off the grill; if you cannot resist the red, white and blue cupcakes and if you always rationalize eating the nine-layer veggie nacho dip to the point where any vegetarian benefits are swallowed by the quantity consumed, as well as the chips used to transport the dip, then keep reading.

If you are like me, you have an abundance of knowledge about the evils of sugar but guess what? Sweet tooths don't care about knowledge. If this rings a bell for you, then you have just enough time to devise your picnic plan so that you can think outside the picnic basket for this weekend's food-filled festivities.

Firstly, do not depend on your willpower to resist forbidden food. Willpower weight loss is almost impossible. So you must have a picnic plan. Do you have a plan? That is the key to being a weight-loser. It is also unrealistic to avoid wonderful gatherings like holiday picnics. Life is meant to be lived and even just saying the word "picnic" makes me happy. So go, but bring along these slick tricks for picnics.

All you have to do is devise a specific plan about what you can and cannot have and then set yourself up for success by doing the following:

1. Find out in advance what food will be at the picnic. If there is nothing healthy for you to eat, bring something that fits that bill.
2. Drink a huge glass of water before arrival and have a healthy snack of some veggies. This will make the picnic pies look less patriotic.
3. Sit down to eat.
4. Chew each bite 20 to 30 times.
5. Do all the talking while everyone else eats.
6. Don't drink more than two alcoholic drinks and know exactly what non-alcoholic drink you will switch to.
7. Bring something delicious, yet low-calorie to drink throughout the picnic. This will help keep you feeling full, which will slow you down.
8. Stand as far away from the food as possible. If you cannot reach it, you will not eat it in excess. Don't sit down in front of the veggie nacho dip.
9. Tell someone who loves you in advance of your plan and ask them to help you stick with it.
10. Bring a fun game so that eating is not the only activity. A Frisbee or a kite are excellent compliments to a picnic. More activity usually means that everyone has more fun, even the spectators.

These tips may sound silly individually, but using them together is a solid plan and will keep you on track. In technical terms, it is called a countermanding action and is directly correlated with successful weight loss.

These tips may sound boring, but there's a reason you hear them over and over. They WORK. But you have to actually implement them. Imagine waking up Tuesday morning feeling like jumping on the scales and looking forward to seeing what you weigh. Now that's a patriotic idea.

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