Common Dieting Mistakes of Summer
You Can Combat Summer’s Worst Diet Wreckers — Here's How
The seasonal treats of the Summer can easily interfere with your weight-loss goals, but dietician Julie Upton, MS, RD, of Appetite For Health, has found common summery saboteurs as well as solutions to keep them in check.
You probably worry more about weight gain during the Winter holiday season thanks to all the hearty food and endless parties, but Summer habits can also pack on the pounds. To enjoy a slimmer Summer, check out five common warm-weather diet wreckers and tips for avoiding them.
Summer Saboteur: High-Cal Sips
Many beverages are nothing more than calorie bombs. This includes iced coffee concoctions, cold-pressed juice, energy drinks, sweet tea, lemonade, and flavored waters — not to mention cocktails like frozen daiquiris and margaritas.
Liquid calories don't provide the same satiety as those from food, so it's best to stick with water and other calorie-free sips, such as unsweetened iced tea or coffee, or diet soda (OK in moderation). A study in the Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics reported that increasing your water intake by one to three cups a day could help you cut as many as 205 calories.
Summer Saboteur: Ice Cream (and Fro-Yo)
Chilling out with a serving of ice cream or fro-yo is fine on occasion, but if you let a double scoop of your favorite flavor become a daily indulgence, you could be in trouble. Half a cup of premium ice cream can pack more than 300 calories and six teaspoons of sugar. (And really, who eats just a half cup?)
Enjoy these treats in moderation and look for "whipped" or "slow-churned" ice cream options, as they have fewer calories. Or try a frozen fruit bar like Outshine, which is made with real fruit and fruit juice, is an excellent source of vitamin C, and has 60 (for yummy flavors like strawberry and tangerine) to 90 calories per bar. I also make my own fro-yo by freezing containers of healthier Greek yogurt, like Chobani. It's made from natural, non-GMO ingredients and has twice the protein and 40 percent less sugar than regular yogurt.
Summer Saboteur: Grab-n-Go Foods and Snacks
Regular trips to the beach or ballpark can mean filling up on high-cal concession-stand hot dogs, burgers, fries, and pretzels.
Pack your own meals and snacks. For a lunch that satisfies, pack a hummus and veggie wrap. Pump up the protein by using a protein-rich wrap like Flatout Light (9 grams protein, 8 grams fiber for just 90 calories).
In place of snack chips, I bring my own snack nuts like pistachios. Pistachios are one of the lowest-calorie snack nuts with plenty of protein, fiber, and other essential nutrients. Look for Wonderful Pistachios 100 Calorie Packs for a convenient, on-the-go snack. For 100 calories, you can enjoy about 30 in-shell pistachios that may help keep you fuller longer, compared to empty-calorie snacks.
Summer Saboteur: Backyard BBQs
A typical menu of burgers, brats, dogs, and creamy salads can cost you more than 2,000 calories — that's more than you should have in an entire day!
Make burgers using the leanest ground beef possible (like ground sirloin) or try "meaty" portobello mushrooms for a vegetarian spin. Opt for skinless poultry. For hot dogs, go with a turkey or chicken frank. An Applegate turkey hot dog has just 50 calories and one gram of saturated fat compared to 150 calories and five grams of saturated fat in most beef hot dogs. And go easy on the sides — mayo-rich pasta or potato salad can have as many calories as a burger.
Summer Saboteur: Your Hard-Earned Vacation
Many people equate vacation from work with a vacation from their diet and fitness plans, too!
Do some prevacation planning. Figure out where and when you're going to get your daily workout in (aim for at least one every day), whether it's swimming, hiking, jogging, or taking a local CrossFit class. To keep your eating in check, allow yourself one "vacation" meal a day, and for the other two, have a healthy meal similar to what you'd eat at home. You can also use an online diet tracker, like MyFitnessPal, to help you stay on track.