* Don’t let this holiday ruin your diet
* Go have fun and celebrate the smart way
* Embracing healthy choices on Cinco De Mayo is easier than you think
It is super easy to get carried away celebrating Cinco De Mayo, and it often leads to increased calorie intake and overall poor nutrition. Greasy ground beef tacos and sugar-filled margaritas will bring your diet to a screeching halt. I’m not saying you shouldn’t go celebrate though. There are several ways to enjoy this holiday while keeping your diet and overall health in mind. Making smart food and drink choices will allow you to go have a blast and blend in with your non-dieting friends. So make this year’s Cinco De Mayo one to remember by planning out a healthy fiesta with these tips.
Corn vs. Flour
The tortilla debate is one for the ages. We know how delicious a fluffy flour tortilla is, but it has many more calories than its corn counterpart. On average, you can count on a corn tortilla having less than half the amount of calories as a flour tortilla. It also has way more fiber, which is always a plus. We recommend sticking with the corn tortillas this holiday.
Typically you can fill your tacos with either ground beef, steak, shrimp or chicken. Some restaurants even offer other types of fish and vegetable tacos for the vegans out there. While a vegan taco will contain less calories and may be healthier, we know that the vast majority of folks will want some meat in their tacos. Most of the time, ground beef will be the least healthy option as it’s almost always cooked in oils and fats. Grilled options like chicken, shrimp or steak will be the better options for you. These leaner meats will have a higher concentration of protein. Chicken and shrimp will be your lower calorie options. Having three or four chicken tacos with corn tortillas will put you on the right track, but you can still ruin your diet with the toppings alone.
Guacamole and avocado slices are your best friends on Cinco De Mayo. Avocados are loaded with healthy nutrients and after being transformed into guacamole, it makes a great creamy replacement for the high-calorie sour cream that we all love to douse our tacos in. Other toppings like tomatoes, black beans, jalapeños and onions are all safe to eat. Tomatoes provide necessary vitamins and potassium, black beans are relatively high in protein as compared to other beans, jalapeños will kick your metabolism into high gear and onions help reduce risk of obesity, heart disease and some cancers. Each of these toppings have their health benefits, but you should still keep a close watch on the amount of food your eating. It is easy to gorge yourself on a holiday like this, so make sure to eat until you are comfortable and maybe come back for seconds later.
The holiday favorite is certainly margaritas, but all too often these drinks are loaded with sugars. That’s why you don’t taste the liquor too much, making it easier to drink three or four of them. This will dehydrate you and signal to your body to turn all this excess sugar into fat and to store it. Yes, you run a larger risk of getting fat from the margaritas than you do the food. To still enjoy your favorite margarita, you can just ask for it to be made “skinny“. This just means it will be made with less sugar, thus less calories, and you’ll be able to taste the tequila much more meaning you will likely only drink one or two. If you’d rather do away with all the sugar, then tequila shots are the way to go. Tequila is the lowest calorie liquor out there and if taken in responsible moderation, it can actually help you lose weight. This has to do with the way that the natural sugars found in tequila, called agavins, are metabolized versus typical sugar.
Then we have the beer drinkers. There is no way around the negative affects of beer, but there are lighter options out there. Drinking an ice cold Corona or Modelo just feels right on Cinco De Mayo, but keep in mind that tomorrow the holiday is over and you’ll have to pay for the damage you did. That’s why it is alway better to opt for the Corona Light or Model Light no matter how many you are drinking. Everything in moderation is a good rule of thumb to live by, but especially for Cinco De Mayo.