With the warm summer months among us, barbecued sloppy Joes and hearty beach burgers can become regulars on the menu. Lazy summer days make it easy to skimp on the healthy foods and simply say, “I’ll add ‘eating healthy’ to my New Years Resolutions in 6 months.” However, with fresh seasonal foods making a debut this season, summer is the perfect time to eat clean—not only for yourself, but for your children, too! Take a look at the following healthy habits you should develop this summer. Feel free to print it, tape it to the fridge, and live by it!
Healthy Habit #1: Portion control is everything.
Many people lose weight and keep it off with the simple strategy of portion control. Eliminating or even limiting certain foods is hard during the summer time, but it’s even harder on your waistline if you don’t. To combat this dilemma, do the next best thing: eat reasonably small portions, limit the foods you know you should limit (yes, that means skipping out on those greasy burgers), and don’t stuff yourself.
Healthy Habit #2: Set a good example.
If you are bringing a dish to a summer party or barbecue, bring a naturally nutritious dish or make a low-fat version. This way, you’re not only giving yourself a healthy option, but you’re giving partygoers the option to eat healthier. If you have children, do not overeat in front of them. You are their role model and if you eat in moderation, they too will follow that lead. Also, don’t feel obligated to eat anything that you don’t want to. No one is going to get upset if you don’t try their frosted chocolate cupcake if it means helping you meet your lifestyle goals.
Healthy Habit #3: Make sure you aren’t thirsty.
Many times when we crave food, it’s not really hunger that’s driving the urge, it is mild dehydration. Be sure to drink a lot of water! A slice of orange, lemon, cucumber or lime will flavor the water and cut your cravings; flavored non-caloric seltzers accomplish the same thing.
Healthy Habit #4: Begin each meal with a salad.
Salads fill you up, provides fiber and is a wonderful alternative to bread. Skip the fatty dressing.
Healthy Habit #5: Move more.
Summer is the perfect time to get outside and get your body moving. Take a walk on the beach, go swimming, go bike riding, and park far away at the mall. Aim for 5 hours of exercise per week.
Healthy Habit #6: Involve your kids.
Since kids are involved in a variety of summer activities, it’s essential for them to eat healthfully to support these activities. Get your child in the kitchen with you (taking their age into consideration) and let them help you with some dishes. Some things you can encourage your child to do is wash the produce, set the table, measure ingredients, and toss the salad. Also, if your child resists eating fruit, this season is ideal in getting your kids to eat an assortment of fruit. Make fruit fun by dipping strawberries into yogurt and apples into peanut butter, make a fruit salad with different shapes (watermelon squares, oval grapes, triangular oranges, circular bananas), and don’t forget to make fruit smoothies!
About the Author:
Lauren Schmitt is a registered dietitian and certified personal trainer specializing in individual and corporate wellness, eating disorders, and weight management. Lauren currently owns her own business, Healthy Eating and Training, Inc., where she counsels individuals and gives them the tools to lead a balanced, healthy life through nutritious eating and physical activity. In addition to seeing clients in the private practice, Lauren has developed nutrition programs for major corporations including: Sony Pictures Entertainment and Dreamworks Animation. She has ongoing projects with the WB and recently completed a project for the Creative Artists Agency.
If you need nutrition counseling visit Healthy Eating and Training, Inc. (http://heatforhealth.com/).
For tips on living a healthy life, ‘like’ Healthy Eating and Training, Inc. on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/HealthyEatingAndTraining).