As we get into the heart of the summer season it may feel easy to indulge more often than normal and fall off track from our healthy eating habits we worked so hard to maintain for the first half of the year… New Year’s resolutions anyone? However, enjoying summer cookouts, parties and going out to restaurants doesn't mean we have to completely give up our healthy habits. Here are a few tips to keep in mind this season to stay aware of your body’s needs, avoid over snacking, keep fit and stay healthy in the summer.
How to stay healthy in summer season
1. When hosting a BBQ
Hosting a BBQ puts you in control of what food will be offered. Don’t want to make it all yourself? Ask others to share what food they will be bringing over in advance so you can make sure there will be some healthier choices served. Fresh fruit makes a wonderful appetizer, side dish or even dessert, and it will help keep everyone hydrated on a hot summer day. Don’t forget to balance the main meal with plenty of veggies too. A large salad is quick to throw together and is something everyone can dress up to their liking when served.
2. When attending a BBQ
Attending someone else's BBQ or dinner party may seem more challenging, especially if you didn't bring any healthy foods with you. Scope out the snack table for foods that are less processed. Sure, enjoying the chips and dips, the chicken wings and the breads is totally fine, but often times we get carried away mindlessly eating larger portions than we would typically choose to eat in one sitting. Focus on staying mindful of your portions by trying not to eat while you're chatting and catching up with friends. Instead, find a quiet spot to enjoy your carefully selected portions of delicious foods, then go ahead and mingle away after.
3. When going for cocktails
Summer night drinks can definitely help make you feel like you’re sitting on a tropical island as you float away in your pool, but moderation is the key to enjoying those cocktails and feeling good about it later. Prevent a hangover and keep your body hydrated by drinking plenty of water in between alcoholic beverages. Not a fan of the flavour of plain water? Add frozen fruit and let it sit for extra flavour, or munch on fresh fruit and veggies throughout the day, since these also help keep your body hydrated.
4. When going to the beach or a picnic
Beach days and picnics can be fun ways to enjoy delicious food while you’re out and about enjoying the summer weather, but keeping your food choices nutritious and safe is the key to a healthy day out. Don’t forget about balance when planning your meals. Looking to make sandwiches? Try adding a side salad, a veggie platter or fruit salad on the side to make sure the meal contains enough fruits and veggies. It's also important to ensure your food is staying at food safe temperatures during the time that it leaves your refrigerator and gets eaten outdoors. Make sure to use a tightly sealed cooler filled with ice or plenty of ice packs to keep foods cold. You can also try freezing a few plastic bottles of water to use as ice packs and by the time they thaw out, you will have plenty of cool water to keep you hydrated in the summer sun.
On another note, staying active plays a huge role in whether or not your summer indulging completely takes over your body. While making as many healthy eating choices as you can throughout your summer activities, try to remember to stay active each day too. This doesn't mean you have to start running marathons, rather finding physical activities that you enjoy can help work off some of those extra indulgences while you have fun! Try hiking, biking, swimming, walking your dog or even jogging on the beach for some fun summer activities that provide a great workout.
It's perfectly normal and healthy to indulge occasionally in delicious treats throughout the summer. However, keeping these quick tips in mind to help guide you toward healthier choices will make it a lot easier to get back on track so you can maintain those healthy habits you spent all year building. Think about how good it would feel to be able to say at the end of the year you still have not lost sight of those New Year’s resolution health goals, and use that as motivation to keep you on track all summer long!
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