…And if you’re like me, you’ve been working hard at maintaining a clean eating, healthy(ish) lifestyle so you can feel comfortable in that crop top this Fourth of July holiday weekend. 

But with cakes, meats, booze and more booze, a long weekend away can quickly de-rail your clean eating regimen. I’m totally guilty of this- and trying to tell myself now that I can play ONE game of beer pong this weekend, and not ten. Please pray for me.

You deserve to have a fun weekend away and let loose, but keep these things in mind so you can enjoy yourself but not destroy yourself.

1. Eat a Filling, Clean Meal Before You Party

DON’T do what I did in college and not eat all day so you’ll look extra skinny in your bikini, have one beer and then nearly pass out. (Guys, I’ve really come a long way). Instead, treat party day like every other day – eat a healthy breakfast, drink lots of water, etc. Eat a meal with lean meats and lots of veggies like this one so you’ll stay full for the long haul and not dive face deep into a never ending bowl of potato chips once you get to the party.

2. Drink LOTS of Water!

My favorite saying in college was “you gotta hydrate before you dehydrate!” as I double fisted a water and a High Life. Again, please learn from my mistakes (even if I did have a point there). The first thing you should do every morning is drink a full glass of water. We get dehydrated while we’re sleeping – especially if you are an open mouth sleeper like me! 🙁 – and making sure you’re getting (at least!) 8 glasses of agua a day will keep you from feeling hungover the next day even if you only have 1 drink. Plus, our bodies confuse thirst for hunger, so drink some water and remind your body that no, you didn’t need 8 pieces of cake, you just needed a glass of water.

3. Craving Sugar? Choose Fruit

When it comes to a barbecue, lots of bread, sugary, fried and cheesy foods usually fill up the spread. Lucky for us, summertime is also a great season for produce! If you don’t think there will be healthy options like watermelon or a fruit salad at the party, bring it yourself! You’ll be surprised at how many people will be thankful you brought some fiber to the party, so now they can finally loosen up (PUN INTENDED).

4. Don’t Just Grill Meats!

Listen, I loves me a good burger on the barbecue. But you know what makes that burger even tastier? Grilled onions on top of it. If you’re making the menu, slice up some summer squashes, mushrooms, onions, bell peppers, anything your little heart desires and grill it! I grilled cauliflower last week and it felt like I found religion for the first time all over again.

5. Everything in Moderation – Don’t Guilt Yourself!

Hey, it’s a holiday weekend. You’ve worked hard and deserve to have a good time. So if your mom’s cool whip-smothered fruity angel food cake is your favorite thing ever and you’ll lose sleep at night obsessing over eating a piece, then just have one. And then MOVE THE HECK ON! It’s ok to indulge in moderation. But, need I say this?- don’t eat the whole cake pan.