Health & Wellness

9 ways to avoid weight gain during July 4th weekend

Exercise your right to celebrate Independence Day without sabotaging your goals.

From the burgers to the beer, a Fourth of July celebration can quickly eat into your SmartPoints® Budget. But it doesn’t have to! This year, use these hacks to ring in America’s birthday while working toward your weight-loss goal. 

  1. Start strategizing early. Going into a Fourth of July barbecue without knowing which foods you’ll encounter can lead to last-minute stress over how to allocate your SmartPoints. To offset surprises, ask your host about the menu before you arrive. The heads-up will help you save your Budget for items you really love and give you the opportunity to bring a low-SmartPoints value dish to add to the spread. In need of inspo? The Year-Round Grilling cookbook features 110 mouth-watering recipes that are perfect for a summer celebration.
  2. Make smart swaps. To save SmartPoints, use nonfat plain Greek yogurt in place of sour cream in a layered dip or as a mayo substitute in potato salad. Another switcheroo to try: Instead of tortilla chips, dunk halved and seeded mini sweet peppers (a ZeroPoint food) into guacamole so the only thing you have to count is the dip.
  3. Supply single-serving snacks. Party-sized bowls of potato chips can lead to over-snacking. Whether you’re hosting or attending a get-together as a guest, portion-controlled WW Barbecue Potato Crisps, which are 2 SmartPoints a pouch (Green, Blue, Purple) can help you keep portions in check. Bring your own, and you can munch straight from the bag without accidentally blowing through your SmartPoints Budget. (Tip: Crush your chips and sprinkle them over salad to add a satisfying crunch to every bite.)
  4. Freeze fruit for frozen fun. Add grapes, blueberries, and other bite-sized fruit to a reusable bag, then toss it into your freezer (or your host’s when you arrive at the party). When the temperature starts climbing, you’ll have something cool to snack on that won’t cost you a single SmartPoints value.
  5. Consider your condiments. A few squirts here and there of ketchup or barbecue sauce can quickly add up. Use this guide to find out how many SmartPoints are in your favorite dips, sauces, and spreads. (Psst, when in doubt, go for yellow mustard. A 1-teaspoon portion has a 0 SmartPoints value (Green, Blue, Purple).
  6. Go for grated cheese. If your burger isn’t complete without fromage, try grated instead of sliced. It takes just a sprinkle to deliver a boost of flavor and will help you save a few SmartPoints values.
  7. Do dessert on the grill. Done with dinner? Toss fruit on the barbecue for a delicious dessert that has 0 SmartPoints and zero cleanup. One juicy recipe to try: WW’s Tropical Spice-Rubbed Grilled Pineapple. Use the WW Stainless Steel Pineapple Corer and Slicer to make pineapple prep quick and easy. 
  8. Build a better sundae. Between hot fudge, whipped cream, and candy toppings, an ice cream sundae can quickly eat into your Budget. Luckily, that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a scoop: To save SmartPoints, consider topping it with a crumbled WW Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie Mini Bar, which has 2 SmartPoints value per bar (Green, Blue, Purple). Better yet, mix the pieces into banana “ice cream,” which clocks in at 0 SmartPoints values (Green, Blue, Purple).
  9. Say “so long!” to leftovers. Hosts, let’s be honest: Having a fridge full of extra cupcakes and other leftover goodies can make it more challenging to stay on track after your guests go home. To eliminate the temptation, toward the end of your party, put out to-go boxes or collapsible storage containers, and invite guests to take what’s left of the spread on their way out. They’ll appreciate the gesture while you stand to benefit the next time you step on the scale.


This article was reviewed for accuracy in July 2021 by Stephanie L. Fitzpatrick, PhD, senior manager for multicultural programs at WW. The WW Science Team is a dedicated group of experts who ensure all our solutions are rooted in the best possible research.

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