06/29/2015 01:09 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Diet Tips for Patriotic Picnics


Do not read this if food management at the beach barbecue 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. Will-power weight loss is almost impossible unless you are anorexic. 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 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. Do NOT sit down in front of the veggie nacho dip.

9. Find the skinniest person and sit next to them. Watch how they eat and try to eat slower.

10. Tell someone who loves you in advance of your plan and ask them to help you stick with it.

11. 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

12. Throw out what is on your plate that you don't want to eat immediately. When you are finished eating, tell everyone you are finished. Throw your napkin on your plate, get up, grab the Frisbee. If you are throwing a Frisbee you cannot hold a S'more, let alone eat one.

13. Stay busy. If you are not a sun-bather and there is nothing to do but eat, you will eat. If you can't find anything to do besides eat, it's time to pack up your basket and say your thank-yous.

14. Wear clothes with a snug waistband. You will get immediate feedback about when you start to stretch past your comfort zone.

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

There's a reason you hear these tips over and over. They WORK. But you have to actually implement them. Imagine waking up Monday morning feeling like jumping on the scales and looking forward to seeing what you weigh. Now that's a patriotic idea.