Ready or not the summer is here, and less is more when the heat is on! Are you fitting in last year’s capris, shorts or bathing suits? If not read on for tips on enjoying the summer, without losing control! Here are 5 of my tried and true summer solutions for keeping the weight controlled and enjoying all the season has to offer:
Hydrate well and often with delicious infused water, seltzer, unsweetened teas, and smoothies. Sometimes we think we are hungry, but hydration is the key to energy and appetite control. Infuse your water with mint, cucumber, berries, lemons/limes, orange slices, and mango, ginger, and pomegranate seeds to name a few. What are your favorite ways to infuse water?
Salads, veggies, and fruit oh my! Summer is the perfect time to increase your vegetables and fruit intake. They are light on calories, and dense on nutrients fueling your body right. Salads make the perfect meal, try a variety of lettuces mixed. The darker the green the better as far as nutrients go, so pile on the baby kale, spinach, arugula, romaine, and mixed greens! Add fruits, protein, nuts, and seeds to fill you up and add fiber. Watch the dressings, keep it simple with a drizzle of olive oil, and a splash of flavored vinegar, lemon or lime.
Looking for something cold and refreshing, instead of ice cream try nice cream! Freeze a banana, berries, or another favorite fruit. Place ½ a frozen banana and a handful of another frozen fruit in the food processor. Once smooth, top with granola, seeds, or unsweetened coconut. Another idea is to dip pieces of fruit in greek yogurt and freeze bite sized pieces. These treats are refreshing and delicious, perfect for summer! What are your favorite healthy summer treats?
Grilling is an amazing way to cook your lean protein in summer, keeping the heat out of the house. For safety reasons keep the heat at medium to reduce the harmful smoke and chemicals from charring the food. Also, marinate the meat, chicken or fish which can create a barrier for the food, and reduce the carcinogens. Try grilling Portobello mushrooms, peppers, eggplant, and zucchini for the vegetable side. These are delicious options that keep the calories down! Flavor with a variety of herbs and spices to enhance the foodie experience! What herbs do you like to add for flavor?
Last but not least keep active! Summer is the perfect time to try a new activity or increase the frequency of your favorite exercise. Walking, biking, hiking, jogging, roller blading, swimming, jump roping, tennis, etc. just to name a few favorites. Aim for 10,000 steps per day or 5 miles with whatever you choose. Exercise increases your metabolism, strengthens your muscles, as well as your immune system, and feels great! Start slow and set attainable goals for yourself, like parking in the farthest parking space to increase walking. You will gradually feel stronger and able to set longer goals or increase the intensity. Start with a goal of 15 minutes 3 times per week and build from there each week add time, and frequency. What are your favorite ways to stay active in summer?
Janet Brancato is a Registered Dietitian based out of Glen Rock, NJ. She works with clients online, over the phone, and face to face.