With the unofficial mark of the summer just around the corner, it’s time to review some summer tips to stay healthy and on track. Here’s how to avoid some unwanted pounds and maintain your wellness goals:
1) Add fruit and veggies to your plate and eat those items first. Try a vegetable kabob on the grill for a tasty complement to your protein of choice.
PORTION TIP: ½ of your plate should be veg, ¼ protein, ¼ grain
2) Leaner and portion size are key to picking proteins. If you are willing to try something other than turkey or chicken, a bison burger is a nice flavorful option that is lower in calories. Or opt for a Portobello mushroom and replace that meat altogether.
FOOD FACT: Bison burger is 143 calories, 43% total fat, 2.4g fat vs Beef burger 283 calories, 46% total fat, 8g fat.
3) Just because “salad” is in the title of a dish, that does not automatically equal "healthy." Creamier salads, like macaroni and potato salads are loaded with extra calories, higher saturated fats and carbohydrates. Instead, stick with the basics, and the greener the better.
FOOD FACT: 1 cup of potato salad has 357 calories, 20g fat, 1300mg sodium.
4) Eat (not drink) your calories. Alcoholic and fruit drinks can be huge culprits for unwanted calories. Pass on the sugary mixes, syrups, or frozen drinks. Choose those with lemon, lime, or seltzer water. Drink water in between your drinks and set a limit.
PORTION TIP: 12oz light beer, 5oz wine, ½ oz of distilled spirits (only 1-2 drinks per day)
5) Be a thoughtful guest. Just because you may not know what’s on the menu doesn’t mean it’s time to throw in the towel. Instead, offer to bring a dish. Take the opportunity to ensure that you will have a healthy, filling meal while still staying within your goals.
6) Have one, not all. If you feel that you absolutely, cannot pass up on a dish: choose a spoonful not a scoopful of potato salad, one piece of BBQ slathered protein, and the rest leaner meats, or half a slice of cake instead of the whole.
TIP: Limit yourself to one plate of food and once that's done, no seconds.
7) Don’t sit! Instead of sitting and munching away while you’re socializing, grab a friend and go for a walk, or engage in a game of corn hole or horse shoe. A half hour of active playing (and not just sitting between turns) can easily burn 100 calories and give yourself a little room to indulge at the same time.
As always, weight loss and management relies heavily on preparation and planning. Have a back-up plan and no excuses.