The Summer Get-Right Series Part 2: Diet

by Marc A.

Good afternoon everyone! I hope everyone's doing well this weekend and your June is off to a stellar start. Last week was the first of the two week Summer Get-Right series, highlighting ways to use the warmer months to your advantage in your weight loss and fitness journal. We talked about exercise and today we'll cover the areas of diet and nutrition.

We all know how the summer months. Less time spent cooking, more time spent eating out. Barbecues, parties, stress festivals, they all add up but those can still be enjoyed while maintaining a healthy lifestyle. You just need to make some tweaks here and there. Gather around the fire, boys and girls, I'm going to give you some tips.

1. When drinking alcohol, cut out or reduce the frozen drinks. Your average pina colada can be as much as 500 calories and let's face it, who stops at one drink right? 3 or 4 of those and you've had your full day's calories in alcohol alone. Stick to light beer, wine or basic mixed drinks (gin and tonic, vodka and OJ). These have far less calories per drink and may even give you some nutrients (OJ in a screwdriver, wine) but don't get carried away. Alcohol is still alcohol. Keep it down to no more than 2 or 3 drinks.

2. Keep the meat high and the sides low. At most BBQs, while the meat is a-plenty, it's the sides that contribute most to your waistline. The potato salad, macaroni salad, baked beans, etc. when combined with the BBQ can add over 1000 calories in one plate of food. Stick to tossed salad or veggies if they are available and enjoy the meat. The protein will make you full faster and you'll likely end up consuming less calories. Slow down on the BBQ sauce and ketchup too if you're doing the pouring.

3. Fruit. While, fruit is great any time of year, spring and summer are fruit seasons. Take advantage! Prices are generally lower during this time of year too . Make smoothies, make juicesput them in your salad, make a fruit salad, pack some in your bag, Not only are they nutritious but also refreshing and they also can keep you from overeating and turning to fatty snacks.

4. Water. This goes without saying but water Water WATER! Drink a lot of it and often. You sweat more therefore need more. Also, this is yet another tool that can curb overeating. Drink a big glass of ice water before you have a meal and it will keep you from overindulging. 

5. Choose frozen yogurt over ice cream. By frozen yogurt, I don't mean the ice cream copycat that you used to get at your local TCBY. I mean literal frozen yogurt that you would get at Pinkberry, Red Mango, or any shops like that. It's a much healthier alternative provided you don't go too heavy on the toppings. Once again, this is where fruit comes in. Go heavy on the fruit toppings to give your froyo a nutritional punch.

6. Plan cheat meals. If you know when you're going to cheat before the times comes, then you can better plan the times around it. If you know you're going to eat bad at dinner, make sure your breakfast, lunch and snacks, are lighter than your normal so the damage of that cheat meal isn't as severe.

And finally...

7. Carry healthy snacks. More time spent outdoors means less accessible healthy food in many cases. The remedy to that is to bring your own healthy snacks. Make trail mix at home and keep it in baggies for quick grabbing. Once again, fruit. Pack a piece of fruit with you. Carry some nuts, granola. This doesn't even have to apply to snacks only. You can pack your meals too if you're going to an event where food isn't prepared. Carrying your own snacks can save you in a bind on many occasions.

I hope you found these tips to be useful. Do you have any that you use that you'd like to add? Place them in the comments below.


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