I so easily wander off the path of health and well being when summer comes. How about you? I love the change in routine. But it’s so easy to fall back into old habits. Old habits are comfortable, like a favorite pair of shoes. Before I realize it, I’m having ice cream treats almost every evening and eating too much fast food on the go.
So how do we cope with the temptations of summer? Here are ten tips to help us navigate barbecues, family vacations, and the change in routine. These tips are related to food choices. Just some friendly reminders for you and me too!
1. When visiting the ice cream shop choose your favorite flavor and order the smallest cone size. You will be satisfied and eat approximately 260 calories for 1 scoop or a baby cone, of something really yummy. With each scoop the calories add up much too quickly. If we are not careful, what was to be a treat becomes a whole meal’s worth of calories!
2. Eat a healthy breakfast every morning or later in the morning if you are not a true breakfast person. Include some protein and fiber. You’ll feel full longer and you will have given your body some good fuel to start the day.
3. Before you go on vacation increase your activity level and cut back on your calories. You will have built in a little cushion for the upcoming vacation and you won’t come home with extra pounds.
4. Plan your menu when on vacation to include lots of summer produce. We have an abundance of amazing fruits and vegetables available from local farmer’s markets and in our grocery stores now. Treat yourself to a fruit tray and some prewashed vegetables. When the work of preparing has already been done, it makes it easier for you to make good choices.
5. When eating at a backyard bbq choose smaller portions of pasta salads as they usually have higher fat content. Instead choose the green salad and serve the dressing on the side. Have a hamburger and don’t eat the top bun. Choose fruit for dessert. When finished eating, leave the food area and visit with friends.
6. Educate yourself, find out how many calories are actually in a s’more (it’s 268!). Decide if you really want to eat 3 or if 1 may satisfy your sweet tooth.
7. Ditch the total deprivation mode. Totally depriving yourself will only make you feel sorry for yourself. Then it’s too easy to give in and overindulge. Allow yourself to enjoy your favorite treats, just in moderation.
8. Don’t eat out of the bag! Mindless eating can lead you to eat way more than you planned. Read the labels on snack bags. Find out how much the suggested portion is and how many calories it contains. Then measure out that portion and put it in a small bowl so it looks really full. Then put the bag away.
9. Eat sweet treats after a meal. You will likely eat less than if it were a snack. Your blood sugar levels will be much more even.
10. Keep your discipline; enjoy treats and snacks in moderation. Don’t have days when you relax all your healthy eating rules. It’s too easy to slip back into those old comfortable habits. Stay disciplined!