Summer means BBQs, beach time and swimsuits, but it could also mean a change in eating habits and not necessarily for the better. Many people work hard throughout the winter in hopes of losing weight before summer, but when summer arrives, they abandon their healthy lifestyle and risk gaining weight.
“A healthy lifestyle is just that — a lifestyle — and can definitely be attainable all year long with the right tools,” says Mandi Knowles, dietitian for South Beach Diet.
With these simple slim down tips and tricks from Knowles, you can stay on the weight loss track and keep up your healthy routine this summer and beyond.
• Eat Before You Go Out. If you’re headed out for a big meal or party, don’t skip breakfast or your mid-morning snack. Eat plenty of nutritious, high-fiber foods all throughout the day. Pretend the day is just like any other, and you’ll be way less likely to over-indulge.
• Have Fruit for Dessert. Delicious fruit is in season, so trade that lemon meringue pie for some fresh cantaloupe or strawberries. Offer to make a fruit salad for potlucks, picnics and barbecues. Don’t forget fruit smoothies. Add fresh spinach or kale to your shake and you’ll fulfill a vegetable serving while satiating your sweet tooth.
• Stick to Your Routine. On vacations and weekends it’s easy to spiral away from good habits. To avoid a weight loss setback, try sticking to your weekday routine. Make good choices like eating a nutritious breakfast, getting some exercise and packing healthful snacks to fuel your day.
• Watch What You Drink. You don’t have to give up alcohol completely, but you should watch what you drink. Swap wine, beer and margaritas, which can be packed with sugar, for lighter drinks like vodka with sparkling water and a lime. Or ditch the alcohol all together and spice up water with fresh fruit.
• Lighten up Those Barbecue Recipes. Pasta and potato salads are staples at many picnics, but they can also pack on excess calories, depending on how they are made. Use whole-grain pasta, olive oil, herbs and lemon juice to make pasta salad. Try sweet potatoes, turnips and Greek yogurt in potato salad. Use lean ground beef for burgers and skip the bun.
• Get Moving. Take advantage of the warm weather to get outside and move. Make time to take walks around the neighborhood, go for a swim, hike with friends or even do yoga in the park. You’ll feel better and your body will thank you.
More tips and information can be found on South Beach Diet’s blog, The Palm, at palm.southbeachdiet.com.
Even if you’re not at your goal weight, don’t let that stop you. By making smart choices this summer, you can live a healthier lifestyle and have the confidence to strut your stuff at the beach, pool and anywhere else the season takes you.