How to Avoid the Pitfalls of Summer Sabotage
By Sara Bennett, BSN RN
Ahhh…Summer. It’s the time of year for backyard barbeques, relaxing picnics, neighborhood cookouts and tailgate parties. But don’t let more choices add up to more weight! It’s ok to indulge yourself every so often, but be sure you’re being reasonable and not overdoing it. The keys to preventing summer weight gain are moderation and planning. With this, you can have fun while you keep your nutrition and weight loss efforts in check at the same time. The following tips will help you to enjoy your summer without sabotaging your weight loss efforts:
1. If you’re a guest, offer to bring a healthy dish to share that you know is healthy. Good choices would include a nice green salad, some fruit salad for dessert, or shrimp cocktail as an appetizer.
2. Keep portion size in mind. Remember, a serving of meat or chicken is about 3 ounces, the size of the palm of your hand.
3. Don’t arrive hungry. The best weight loss efforts are often thwarted by cutting calories to “save” for later. You’ll only wind up starving, which often leads to overeating and many uncomfortable side effects. Just remember to keep your regular eating schedule.
4. Be careful not to “graze” when you’re at a gathering for a prolonged period of time. Listen to your body and remember that food is fuel. If you are full, do not be tempted to continue to sample the menu.
5. If you are hosting, there are lots of great menu options. Skinless chicken or turkey breast, vegetable skewers, turkey dogs and shrimp are all great low-fat grill choices. And you can’t go wrong with a simple marinade using olive oil, lemon juice, fresh herbs, and a dash of salt and pepper.
6. If you must serve burgers and hot dogs, try to delegate the grilling to someone else to help you resist temptation.
7. Be conscientious when consuming beverages to avoid adding empty liquid calories. Often, punches, sodas, and other adult beverages are filled with sugar and calories that can accumulate quickly. Instead, focus on sugar free beverages or water.
8. Finally, always remember that social gatherings are about more than just the food. If you find yourself struggling, focus on good company, good weather and pleasant conversation, which are all fat, calorie, and sugar free!