The 4th of July is about spending time with friends and family, and you can still have fun without sacrificing your healthy habits. How to survive the BBQ: Use whole wheat buns: Filling up on high glycemic index foods like potato chips, ice cream, sodas and full-calorie beers spikes insulin and opens the floodgates for fat storage. “Most guys don’t realize that insulin, not testosterone, is the key hormone in the body. It determines your rate of aging, level of inflammation and whether your body is in a fat storage or burning mode.” “White bread causes a spike in your insulin and makes your body store fat. Switching white bread for whole wheat, rye or sourdough buns can keep the fat at bay and help control insulin.” Grill lean meats: Lowering your fat content can decrease your overall caloric intake. Fewer calories equals less barbecue belly. Eating grilled meats, like the ones your buddies serve at cookouts, is ok as long as you remove excess fat and watch how and what they grilled it with. Most cookouts offer a variety of meats, so choose the leanest cuts of beef, chicken and pork. Practice portion control: There are a variety of strategies for cutting back at the grill. For example, eat 1/4-lb burgers (made with extra-lean ground sirloin) instead of 1/3- or 1/2-lb. patties, or split a steak with a friend. Load up on grilled veggies: “Fill half of your plate with veggies so as to avoid overdoing it on the higher-caloric options. The fiber will help to fill you and if you want seconds be sure to fill your plate the same way.” Don’t skip meals to try to “save” calories for later: This will lead to overeating and lead you to make poor choices due to hunger and low blood sugar. Lastly, incorporate some easy calorie burning exercise on this day. Dancing, Strolling, or even standing which can potentially burn 120 additional calories a day over sitting on the sofa with friends.