Summer is upon us and as swimsuit season is in full swing so is cookout season. Summer bashes and splurges, although a fun part of the sunnier months, can leave you feeling less than confident to show off your bod in that new bathing suit of yours. So how can you maintain a healthy diet and still enjoy all the little pleasures summer brings? Here are three quick tips that can help you steer clear of empty calories but still enjoy your summer treats.
Choose Treats Wisely
Summer just wouldn’t be the same without the warm weather activities that make it fun, like cookouts, picnics and beach days. The problem is that a lot of the foods you find at these types of outings are usually loaded with calories and aren’t very nutritionally wholesome. But, this doesn’t mean that you have to miss out on the fun if you want to maintain your diet.
If you are the one hosting the cookout or packing the picnic basket, simply make sure there a lot of healthy options for you and others that are health minded. If you are at someone else’s cookout, just look over what’s being served and choose what is the healthiest.
Choose a grilled burger instead of a hotdog, which has more fat and sodium, and skip the mayo in favor of mustard. And instead of indulging in a chocolate coated ice cream bar, choose a popsicle or, even better, homemade frozen fruit pops. Little choices like these may not seem like they make much difference, but in the long run they can really pay off.
Hydrate the Smart Way
Liquid calories can be pretty tricky. Your body doesn’t recognize them as food, so they basically just get stored as fat. Also, since it’s in liquid form, you may not even realize you are taking in so many calories. It’s just a drink, after all.
When the thermostat starts to soar in the summer it can be pretty tempting to reach for an ice cold soda to slake your thirst and cool off. Even “healthy” drinks like fruit juices can be loaded with sugar. Diet sodas are also pretty terrible for you if you partake of them too freely.
Although it’s not too fancy, plain old water is still the best way to hydrate your body (unless you’re severely dehydrated) and, hey! It’s only zero calories per serving and has zero harmful additives! Bringing an insulated bottle of ice cold water with you when you’re out can help to keep the thirst away so that you aren’t so tempted to go for the sugary drinks; save those for special occasions or avoid them altogether if you want.
Take Advantage of In-Season Fruits and Veggies
One of the best things about summer is the fresh produce available at the grocery store. Many fresh fruits and vegetables that can be pretty pricey at other times of the year are usually much cheaper during the warmer months, so you should really take advantage of this.
Fresh fruit and berry smoothies, fruit based desserts and delicious salads made with in-season veggies are a special treat and are always welcome at barbecues and picnics. Filling up on fruits and veggies, or dishes based on them, can keep you from loading up on some of the less healthy options summer brings your way and you’ll also be benefiting from the plethora of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants found in fresh vegetables and fruits.