Weekends are a great time to decompress (especially long holiday weekends), but don’t let them throw you off track. The summer is going to be filled with great weekends, including picnics, parties, etc. So many of you have worked so hard to make a permanent change in your life to either lose weight or keep it off. Let’s keep it truly permanent. Here are a few tips to live by:

1) ALWAYS fill your plate with something plant-based first. This could be a salad, veggies or veggie-based app. Going to a picnic or party and want to bring something healthy? Try this delicious Southwestern Veggie Salad with Cilantro Lime Dressing. It’s a hit and really easy.

2) If you feel very hungry, your body is trying to tell you that you need to level off your blood sugar levels and get some sustenance. It’s not telling you that you need a brownie, cookie or milk shake. Yield to rule #1. You won’t regret it. As soon as hunger subsides, you can make better decisions about what to eat to fill you up.

3) If you’re going to have a drink, make sure you follow it with a big glass of water. You’ll maintain proper digestion through hydration and your beautiful skin will keep glowing the way it should.

What’s more, your liver will always breakdown alcohol first (yep, alcohol trumps food for digestion). If you’re eating and drinking together, that 150 calorie glass of wine will take at least an hour to burn off (probably longer) while you’re sitting at dinner. That means the dinner your eating will get put on the shelf, in terms of metabolism, getting burned off much later and possibly stored as fat.

Had too much? Then eat these 5 foods that help to detoxify your liver.

4) Don’t eat too late. Summer nights are much brighter than the dark early evenings of winter. We stay out later! If you do have a late-night dinner planned, curb the amount of food you’re eating. Food naturally increases the release of insulin in your body. Insulin fights with human growth hormone (HGH) for pole position, but insulin always wins. Translation: you won’t sleep as well, you’ll age faster and you’ll store more fat. Blech!

5) When you wake up the next morning, start the day off with a big glass of warm or room temp lemon water to kickstart digestion, helping to rid your body of toxins. Simple enough.

Why not cold water? Cold water isn’t bad, but it has a constricting effect on our digestive tract. When you need to get things moving out of your body, the last thing you need to do is drink something that will hold them in.

Enjoy your weekend and stay healthy!

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