Family picnics, backyard barbecues as well as daily beach sessions are finally here but these gatherings also mean piling on the calories. If this is true for you, you are missing out on the bountiful produce of the season. Here are 4 tips to enjoy the warm weather while keeping your nutrition in check:
- Water, water everywhere
Wherever you are, whatever you are doing, don’t forget to drink water. Add slices of lemon and cucumber to add flavor and get a detoxifying effect. It is wise to drink more than the suggested eight glasses of water every day to avoid rapid fluid loss from the body due to the heat.
Generally, it is a good idea to take any liquid enriched with electrolyte content. Limit your tea and caffeine consumption as they, along with other sugary content, increase body heat and dehydrate your body, thereby making your face feel flushed.
Try pink and ruby red grapefruit juice with lycopene. Lycopene protects exposed skin from the harmful UV rays of the sun during summer months.
- Fiber power
Fiber helps us feel full even when we eat less. It is found in abundance in foods like spinach, tomatoes, avocados, citrus fruits, berries and squashes foods that are naturally rich in antioxidants and vitamins.
Start your day with a high–fiber breakfast like a whole grain cereal or a bran muffin with cherries.
Beans and legumes are fiber-rich and lentils cook in as little as 20 minutes. Half a cup of lentils contains as much as eight grams of fiber. You get the point. A quick salad is never too far away with a bowl of cooked lentils at hand. However, also keep in mind that salads are good but that doesn’t mean that salads from your neighborhood restaurant loaded with dressing, cheese, and fried chicken are also good.
- Dining out
The sins that we commit when we dine out! When you dine out, temptation beckons at every step. The golden mantra is to say yes to baked, broiled, grilled or poached stuff, which generally means no or less added fat. Say no (or at least indulge less frequently) to fried or sautéed menu choices. Dine early and keep eating between meals. Waiting too long between meals makes it easy to choose empty calorie foods.
- Cooking at home & shopping for food
One of the benefits of cooking at home is that you save money. Make cut veggies, grilling, herbs and spices part of your summer diet at home. Herbs and spices carry depth and flavor, making it easier to eliminate added fats from your diet. Make extra portions of everything and stow them away in the fridge for those times when you are famished.
When you go shopping, just don’t go by the labels because low in calories or fat need not necessarily mean that the thing is good for you. Read the list of ingredients and if you see names that you don’t understand, it is best to keep it back on the shelf because it simply means there are too many preservatives in it.
Just like everything else in life, variety is necessary, even in the food that you eat. Try to avoid boredom and inactivity as they lead to mindless eating and dump all the junk food. This summer, eat healthily and enjoy a healthier season.