Many families view summer as the time for vacations and relief from the pressures of school and work.
However, watching your weight can be tricky anytime there is a disruption to your regular routine.
Plus, the hot, sticky weather can make us feel unusually heavy and bloated.
Luckily, summer’s longer days full of sunshine also provide the perfect opportunity to start many healthy habits, including getting outdoors for some exercise, eating fresh fruits and vegetables, and unplugging for some uninterrupted quiet time.
Here are some tips to keep you feeling and looking your best for fun in the sun.
Watch the Alcohol
With summer parties and barbeques, sugary cocktails like mojitos and mai tais are everywhere, along with calorie- and carb-rich beers.
If you are not careful, these can quickly pack on unwanted pounds.
Also, drinking alcohol typically results in overeating by reducing feelings of fullness, and excess alcohol can cause dehydration, making you feel extra fatigued from a long beach day.
For a change, you could try an “alcoholiday” – take a break from the sweet cocktails and go for sparkling water with lemon, lime or a slice of orange instead!
If you must drink, choose a wine spritzer or a low-carb “lite” beer, and alternate one alcoholic drink with one glass of water.
Follow the 75/25 Rule
Fill your plate with 75 percent watery vegetables like lettuces, celery or other greens, and pack in protein to the remaining 25 percent.
Eating more greens gives you more vitamins and boosts hydration, while choosing protein rather than starches will help you feel less bloated and sluggish.
Adequate protein also is critical to maintaining lean body mass and helping in exercise recovery.
Choose Beverages Wisely
Try junking the juice – while it does contain antioxidants and vitamins, juices flood your body with excess sugar it doesn’t need.
Eating the whole fruit is a far better choice.
Also, flavored coffee drinks give us far more sugar than is good for us. Instead of the usual mocha frappe, try swapping your drink for an iced black coffee or flavored unsweetened tea.
Pack Healthy Snacks
Having fresh, healthy items in your cooler will make it far less likely that you’ll reach for junk.
Try freezing individual yogurt cups – they’ll stay cool till you’re ready to nosh.
Go for sugar-free Greek yogurts for extra protein without the extra calories and carbs. A good brand is Oikos Zero.
Fresh watermelon slices or a berry salad (toss together a mix of strawberries, blackberries, blueberries and raspberries) make great sweet treats that everyone, especially kids, really love out at the beach or on the trail.
Nuts also can be nutritious and filling, but they also are high-calorie. Measure out 1/4-cup portions into individual baggies to be sure you don’t overdo it.
Published on: June 13, 2018