Finding it hard to stick to your diet in the summer?
Summer is almost here, and seasonal treats like ice cream and hot dogs seem to be everywhere. With these not-so-healthy-foods readily accessible, sticking to your diet and maintaining your beach bod can be difficult.
According to Elizabeth Zawila, a registered dietitian at Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital’s Health and Wellness Center in Downers Grove, Ill., people tend to indulge in the summer because they go to more parties and cookouts, where healthy options might be limited and the motivation to practice dietary restraint is low.
Zawila offers the following tips to avoid common diet dangers this summer:
- Avoid sugary beverages with hidden calories: Smoothies, shakes, teas and sodas are loaded with calories that can easily be eliminated from your diet by just sticking to water. The same goes for alcoholic beverages. Frozen daiquiris, piña coladas and margaritas may taste delicious, but the calories add up.
- Rethink your frosty treat: Although ice cream is a great way to cool down in the summer, it’s also packed with calories and sugar. Try opting for frozen fruit bars or “whipped” and “slow-churned” ice cream, which have fewer calories.
- Plan your meals for outings: Ballparks and beaches offer a variety of food to accompany games and fun in the sun, but they can also lead to diet disasters. Hot dogs, nachos and fried foods can lead you to pack on the pounds if you’re not careful. Instead, prepare meals and snacks that will travel well, such as fruit and nut butters, vegetables and hummus and wholesome flatbread sandwiches.
- Make grilling even healthier: At the end of the day, there’s nothing better than a good, old-fashioned barbecue. Grilling can be a healthy way to cook foods, but there are better options than traditional hamburgers, brats and hot dogs. Instead, grill healthier options like lean meats, salmon or even portabella mushrooms.
Finally, Zawila says, “The most important thing is to practice portion control. Having a ball park hot dog won’t break a person’s diet, but when it’s followed up with a lot of other unhealthy foods, that is when things can get out of control.”
About the Author
health enews staff is a group of experienced writers from our Advocate Aurora Health sites, which also includes freelance or intern writers.