The midpoint between breakfast and lunch, brunch, is in many ways the perfect meal. A great time to spend with a group large or small, brunch provides the menu to please a variety of palates and preferences. However, embedded in this seemingly innocent weekend occasion can be hundreds—even thousands—of calories. Follow these tips to leave you feeling good, not guilty after your next weekend brunch.

For most people, the weekend is time for lots of catching up. We catch up on sleep, household chores, and with friends. Brunch is one way to set the reset button.

Tanya’s Tips to keep brunch healthy:

• Pack some fiber for filler. A mixed green salad, for example, can be the perfect complement to breakfast or lunch foods and a way to sneak in some leafy greens. If that’s not your thing, try a sweet potato side or low-fat bran muffin for starters. Opt for a fruit or veggie side when you can.

• Choose water, not booze. Though tempting, try to skip the alcohol at weekend brunch. A non-alcoholic Bloody Mary tastes just as good, but saves big on calories. Plus, you can save yourself the post-brunch coma that often leaves you less motivated to exercise, or do much of anything, the rest of the day.

• As an alternative, bank some calories for brunch. This takes more careful planning, and generally speaking this is not a good diet strategy, but every once in awhile it’s worth your time. The idea is to skip out on extras the rest of the weekend- think extra drinks, dessert, or appetizers, in order to make room for the upcoming brunch.

• Work it off before you even get there. Try a morning jog, yoga class, or brisk walk to get some calories burned before you even order that first cup of joe.

• Skip the creamer. Try coffee with a sweetener instead of sugar, or give a classic Americano a try for all the flavor of espresso with a little less bite.

• Can’t decide between savory or sweet? Share plates with friends! Satisfy both cravings without feeling the need to order extra sides.

• Most of all, enjoy it. Savor each flavor and take your time. After all, this is a sometimes meal.

Tanya Zuckerbrot, MS, RD is a best selling author and the creator of "The F-Factor Diet", an innovative nutritional program she has used for over a decade to provide thousands with the tools they need to achieve easy weight loss and maintenance, and improved health and well-being. In January 2011 Tanya launched the F-Factor food line with the largest natural foods company in the US, the Hain Celestial group. She is thrilled to be able to offer the highest fiber products on the market to date. Become a fan of Tanya on Facebook or follow her on Twitter.

 

Tanya Zuckerbrot MS, RD, is a Registered Dietitian in New York City and the author of two bestselling diet books: The F-Factor Diet and The Miracle Carb Diet: Make Calories and Fat Disappear – with Fiber.

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