How to Enjoy Summer Parties Without Gaining Weight


I don’t know about you but no parties or gatherings over the last few months has been difficult and I am ready to get my party on! Picnics, block parties, and backyard barbecues are always a big part of summer shenanigans. However, if you’re not careful, you can easily add a few unwanted pounds at these events. Luckily there are ways to enjoy summer parties without gaining weight, and maintaining a healthy weight.

Being careful doesn’t mean you have to be a summer bummer; it just means being a little more intentional about what you let into your body. You can still turn up at girls’ trips and summer parties without compromising your healthy lifestyle.

With a few helpful tips, you can let your hair down without worrying about denting your health and fitness routines. If you are mindful enough and you follow these suggestions, you can enjoy summertime with your loved ones without stacking on a single pound.

Here are a few easy tips on how to enjoy summer parties without gaining weight.


  1. Stay active

Gaining weight is a simple process. If you consume more energy than you expend, prepare to say hello to those extra waistline inches. While the summer will be a food filled period, it can also be activity-filled as well.

Pack your summer festivities with physical activities and sports; you can even make it an entire part of the process. For example, instead of driving to a picnic site, you and your friends can park a distance away and hike to your destination. So even if you splurge a little during your meal, the hike will create that calorific balance that you need.


  1. Practice portion control

When it comes to fitness and weight management, more often than not, it’s less about what you eat, and more about how much of it you’re eating. You may not know precisely the calorific value of everything on the menu, but you can stay safe by controlling your portion sizes.

Since you obviously cannot show up at summer parties with a measuring cup in hand, you can improvise with your fist. A fist size of food will be equivalent to one cup of it. Use that comparison to control your portion sizes.


  1. Eat before you show up

The worst thing you can do is to arrive hungry at a party, especially when you are very particular about fitness. To keep your calories in check, eat a healthy snack before you head out. That way, you’re not so hungry when you arrive that you begin to consume anything you see.=

Something with protein and fiber will keep you feeling full longer and stave off the desire to overeat. An apple with almond butter or oatmeal with a hard-boiled egg are good ideas.


  1. Take it easy with the booze

I know this one is going to be hard for a lot of us. I mean, what’s a good summer party without some wine and fruit drinks. You may have eaten only salads, but what was in your cup?

If you get hot and thirsty, as is common in summer parties, drink water instead. If you think water is too dull for your summer spirits, you could squeeze in some fresh lime or berries to switch things up. Still too boring? Grab some kombucha or water kefir to liven things up!

Check out the Strawberry Rosemary Spritzer recipe at the end of our exercise post here.


  1. Stick to your workout routine

Beyond watching what you eat at parties, try not to miss your workouts. You can also add an extra session if you have plans to go out. That way, you build up a calorie deficit before the fun begins. Remember though, if you are trying to lose weight, weight loss is 80% food-related and 20% exercise-related. You can’t out-exercise your diet.

Our favorite workout ideas are here.


  1. Plan your meals

In addition to an extra sweat session, plan your meals before and after your gatherings. Parties tend to have more carb offerings than protein, so cut back on your carb intake the day of or after the party.

Note, this doesn’t mean you should skip a meal. Doing this to try to save calories will only backfire and leave you more likely to gorge at your next meal.

One of our favorite meal planning websites is “Better Meal Planning“.


Get Your Groove on While Keeping the Pounds Off

Just because you’re on an exercise and fitness journey, it doesn’t mean you have to be a buzzkill this summer. You can still get your groove on while keeping the pounds off.  At the end of the day, if you follow these tips, you might even lose weight instead of the other way around.

What about you? What do you do to enjoy summer parties without gaining weight? Let me know in the comments.



Grilled Shrimp and Citrus Vinaigrette Salad

During the summer months, I love grilling as many of my meals as possible. Chicken, seafood, veggies, even fruit are fantastic on the grill. If you enjoy outdoor grilling and barbeques as much as I do, then you’ll love this recipe. Fast and easy to prepare, this grilled shrimp and citrus vinaigrette salad recipe is destined to be the hit of any BBQ.

You’ll have plenty to make a couple of meals out of it, so it’s a great recipe to add to your meal plan. And if you’re going to a barbeque or throwing a party of your own, there’s enough to please everyone.

Recipe Tips…

Shrimp Tail on or Off

Your choice comes down to a matter of personal preference, so I leave that up to you. For a more appealing presentation, I suggest you leave the tail on. To make it easier to eat, take the tails off before cooking.

Rained Out?

If you run into bad luck and have to take the party inside, the shrimp can be prepared under the broiler, too. Too hot to run the oven? an indoor griddle or even a cast iron skillet will also work.

Easy Swaps

This recipe is versatile enough you can easily switch out the ingredients with other options. Any leafy green will work well in place of the arugula and spinach.

Don’t like shrimp? Stay healthy with a lean meat like chicken or turkey breasts cut up into one-inch cubes. Add a few minutes of cooking time, making sure the meat is fully cooked before serving.

For other tasty seafood options, you want to stick with a firm fish that won’t become flakey or fall apart on the skewers. Swordfish, snapper, mahi-mahi, and my favorite, salmon, are ideal.


This dish will keep well in an air-tight container in the fridge for a day but is best eaten right off the grill. If you plan to make it the night before, wait until just before serving to add the dressing to the greens, so they don’t wilt.

If you have leftovers, you can make a fajita-like dish or wrap by adding the ingredients in a tortilla. Choose ones made with whole-wheat and without shortening or hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oil.

I hope you enjoy this simple grill recipe that’s the perfect healthy dinner for warm summer days – with just 10 minutes of prep!

Grilled Shrimp and Citrus Vinaigrette Salad

Perfectly grilled shrimp with a spicy citrus vinaigrette salad. So easy to make and so delicious!

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Servings: 6


  • 2 pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 3 cups arugula
  • 3 cups baby spinach
  • 1 lime
  • 1 orange
  • 2 lemons
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • Skewer sticks, pre-soaked


  1. Preheat grill to medium-high heat. Lightly oil grill grate. Slice the lime, orange, and lemons in half and place them on the rack, cut sides down. Grill until lightly charred, about 3 minutes. Slice 1/2 a lemon into wedges and set aside for garnish.
  2. In a small bowl, crush the garlic with the sea salt. Mix in paprika, chili powder, cayenne pepper, and whisk in olive oil.
  3. Squeeze the juice of the lime, orange, and 1 lemon into the bowl and whisk well. Set aside 1/2 of the vinaigrette dressing in a large serving bowl for the salad.
  4. Add shrimp and toss with the remaining dressing until evenly coated.
  5. Thread the shrimp onto skewers and place on the grill. Cook until opaque, approximately 2 to 3 minutes each side.
  6. Meanwhile, add arugula and spinach to the large bowl and toss with reserved vinaigrette dressing.
  7. When the shrimp is done, transfer to a platter, squeeze the juice of 1/2 a lemon over the shrimp, garnish with lemon wedges, and serve with the salad.


What’s your favorite food to grill? Share in the comments!

Be Well & Thrive!

With Love & In Health,

Sarah Outlaw, MH, MSACN

  • For more information on who we are and what we do at Natural Health Improvement Center of South Jersey and Natural Health Improvement Center of Des Moines, browse the rest of our website. We practice Root Cause Nutrition and offer Nutritional Coaching, Nutrition Response Testing, Functional Nutrition, Herbal Medicine, and Homeopathy. We also offer detox services including an infrared sauna, and PEMF (pulsed electromagnetic field therapy mat, and foot bath (DSM office). We are on the front lines of wellness for you!






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