I know that it’s only May, but I find my thoughts are already drifting towards those long, warm days of summer! Thinking about all of the outdoor fun that comes with the summer months, it would seem like we should naturally lose weight rather than gain it. In reality, though, lots of summer activities can work against our efforts to stay at a healthy weight (backyard barbecues, s’mores, and delicious ice cream treats, anyone?). To start summer off on a healthy foot, here are some simple strategies that you can use to help you enjoy all that the season has to offer without wreaking havoc on your health:
• Take snacks with you. You can save money and eat right by bringing snacks along when you head out the door. Try these salty and sweet treats: raw or dry-roasted nuts, pre-washed and cut fruit and veggies, whole-grain crackers and hummus or nut butter, or some dried mixed fruit.
• Make summer gatherings into potlucks! Keeping things casual and getting everyone involved in the meal will reduce your time in the kitchen and leave you with more time to spend with your family or friends. If you’re a guest, bring a healthy dish like a salad along so that you will have at least one go-to dish. This is helpful whether you’re watching your calories or have food allergies. For a balanced meal, be sure to include proteins, veggies, and a few carb-based side dishes!
• Make lighter sides when you’re cooking at home. Pasta salad, for example, goes great with burgers, but one cup of pasta salad can contain more than 500 calories. The next time that you make this staple side dish, “healthify” it by using whole-wheat pasta and light vinaigrette or a low-calorie Italian dressing.
• Watch what you drink. It’s nice to have a refreshing, cold drink when it’s hot out, but soda, juices, and cocktails add empty calories and won’t fill you up. It’s Since it is important to stay hydrated throughout the day, reach for water with lemon or lime, seltzer or unsweetened iced teas, or water-rich fruits and vegetables like cucumbers and bell peppers. Remember that all foods and drinks can have a place in your diet; even those sweetened with sugar, but those calories count just the same as calories from anything else you may want to indulge in.
• Forgo high-calorie, high-fat desserts for the amazing seasonal, fresh fruits. that summer has to offer. Watermelon is an awesome choice because it’s low in calories (only 46 calories per cup), and it fills you up because it’s 92 percent water.
• Be wary of summer’s common fast food choices like food trucks, ice cream carts, and hot dog stands – these aren’t typically known for their healthy options, to say the least! If you do opt to make a pit stop, look for choices like grilled corn on the cob, fruit popsicles, low-fat frozen yogurt, baked chips, grilled chicken salads, sandwiches on whole-grain bread and low-fat fruit smoothies.
Follow these simple tips and you’ll be sure to enjoy a happy and healthy summer!
By Barba Prudhomme
Barb practices a holistic approach to health and wellness, which means that she looks at how all of the areas of her client’s lives – activity level, eating habits, stress, relationships, and work – are interconnected. She then helps them work towards the results they desire, such as such as achieving an optimal weight, reducing cravings, incorporating more healthy foods into family meals, and minimizing fatigue, in realistic and enjoyable steps! Barb doesn’t believe in magic pills or fad diets, and has seen firsthand how dramatic results can be achieved through simple nutritional and lifestyle improvements!
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