Summer is upon us and so are the BBQ’s, picnics,camping weekends, and cold drinks on the deck after work. What are some ways to prevent weight gain while enjoying all these activities? Some ideas to consider are:
1) Decide that the activity is more important than what you are eating. Is the drink you have on the deck important or the friends sitting with you? Is the BBQ no fun if you have a low calorie dinner instead of a higher calorie one?
2) Do you love frozen things like ice cream when it is hot? Try frozen berries mixed with a low calorie yogurt. It is cold and very tasty! Try frozen grapes – you’ll be surprised. Frozen bananas are good too. Make popsicles out of strong crystal light or low fat
3) BBQing burgers. Cook yourself a veggie burger or portabello mushrooms in place of the meat and omit cheese, bacon, and mayo and save up to 700 calories that way! I know to some it may sound unappetizing, but that is a lot of saved calories and you may just
like it! They have fat free wieners now too.
4) Salads. The dreaded (or sought after) potato salad at all gatherings. Great, but full of calories as are the pasta and ceasar salads. The better choices – greek salad or bean salad. Take them along as an alternative to the mayo based ones. BUT if it is your FAVORITE salad enjoy a bit – just think though – if after one or two bites it does not taste as good as
you remember don’t waste the calories by finishing it.
5) Drinks. Make a diet soda or low cal. drink into a slush. Add ground ice and maybe some sweetener. If you like coffee, buy some flavored coffee, cool it down and then add some skim mike and some sweetener and ice – tastes very refreshing. Of course with any
suggestion listed here, be careful if you are sensitive to sweeteners or have any food allergies/sensitivities. The higher calorie choices, if you are drinking alcohol, are of course the ones mixed with juices. The pina coladas especially can be more than 600 calories per drink! Watch the mudslides, coolers, and ciders. Not as bad, but they can add up. Lowest calorie alcoholic drinks are light beer, wine, hard alcohol and water, soda water, or diet pop (all about 100 cal. Per serving). Mike’s Hard light is only 70 calories a bottle if you like that sort of thing. Of course, drink responsibly. The best drink calorie wise – WATER – add some lemon or lime.
6) Pack a picnic in the park with a friend instead of eating in a restaurant.
7) Plant a few veggies or herbs even if you only have a sundeck. Enjoy eating something you grew and try some new recipies with the herbs!
8) Grill some veggies on the BBQ. Broccoli, squash, peppers, cauliflower, or mushrooms are all great. 1-2 minutes each side and add seasoning or a marinade for a change. They are also great the next day cold or in a salad with some parmesan.
9) Exercise. Do it first thing in the morning. You will feel great all day and there is no excuse that it is too hot! Try a new activity – tennis, golf, swimming, or just walk the waterfront and pretend you are a tourist!
10) Plan for your summer events and keep good choices in your house – you will find it easier.
Lastly, enjoy the summer and make good choices most of the time and then eat and don’t stress about food the rest of the time. Summer is meant to be enjoyed – so
have a good one!
Tara has personally lost 100lbs and kept it off. She is a personal trainer in Nanaimo.