Summer Food Tips to keep the weight off
Take the Salt Shaker Off the Table
You don’t really need all that salt. It’s really bad for your beautiful heart, too. The average American consumes 2,500 – 5,000 milligrams of sodium per day. You really only need 500-1000 milligrams! By cutting down on salt use gradually, the taste buds will adjust.
Ways to reduce your sodium:
- Cook from scratch. De-emphasize the use of processed foods.
- Use the salt shaker sparingly. Taste your food before adding salt.
- Try a sodium free herbal blend on the table.
- Choose fresh, frozen, or canned vegetables without added salt.
- Snack on fresh fruits and vegetables, which are low in sodium.
- Limit processed cured or pickled foods.
Don’t overeat when eating out
Ordering large portions when dining out can easily foil your dieting plan. Fortunately, many restaurants are offering smaller portion sizes for diners with an eye on the waistline.
Suggestions for weight-conscious diners:
- Skip the entree and order an appetizer and a salad for your meal.
- Stick to a smaller serving, such as a cup of soup or a child-size portion.
- Eat half of your meal at the restaurant and take half home to enjoy later.
- Share each course with someone else, or just split an entrée.
3 Summer food swaps for a healthier cookout
I love all the fresh farm-to-table produce, the delicious smoky flavor of all grilled fare and, you can’t go wrong with a plateful of my Mama’s world-famous macaroni salad. The only issue with all this summer food love is that it can be easy to pack on the summer pounds thanks to all the calorie-laden cookout classics. Next time your friends and family come over for some summer fun; try some of these swaps for a lighter, healthier cookout.
Swap the mayo in summer salads for lighter, protein-packed Greek yogurt.
I don’t know what it is about summer that brings out every mayo-based salad under the sun, but it sure makes for a difficult landscape to healthfully navigate. Next time you make your favorite potato, macaroni, or pasta salad, try switching out most or all of the mayo for low- or non-fat Greek yogurt. The yogurt makes for a creamy and thick dressing with a small portion of the calories. It’s especially killer if you mix it with a hefty dose of fresh dill and diced cucumbers for a Greek-inspired potato salad.
Calorie savings: 320 calories per ½ cup of Greek yogurt (over regular mayo)
Bonus: For each ½ cup of Greek yogurt, you get 11 grams of protein! Protein is vital in the cell-replacement process in the body, helping you recover after an injury, hard work out or just replacing cells during their normal life-cycle.
Embrace produce as sides instead of the high-calorie classic side dishes.
Baked beans and coleslaw are delicious, but next time you fire up the grill, how about switching up the sides by using dishes that spotlight the bounty of the season? Buy a grill basket and toss in your favorite veggies with a little bit of olive oil, salt and pepper for a simple, low calorie, nutrient-dense side. Apply this philosophy to dessert, too. Skip the cookies and cakes and instead grill up some fresh peaches and serve warm with a scoop of homemade vanilla frozen yogurt.
Calorie savings: 225 calories per 1 cup of grilled veggies (over coleslaw)
Bonus: Grilled bell pepper slices get soft, caramelized and delicious. They also make an excellent condiment for brats, burgers and hot dogs. AND they are packed with antioxidants which may help prevent cancer, delay cardiovascular disease and slow aging.
Skip the buns and try other ways to wrap your dogs, brats and burgers.
To help balance out these higher-calorie main dishes, I’ll sometimes skip the bun. I love carbs as much as the next girl, but a processed, enriched, flavorless hot dog bun is not where I want to “spend” my calorie budget. Instead, I’ll wrap my grilled meat up in a crisp Iceberg lettuce leaf, eat it wrapped in a sprouted-grain tortilla or even just eat it straight up dipped in my favorite condiments.
Calorie savings: 80 calories per large Iceberg lettuce leaf (over a white hot dog bun)
Bonus: You’ll have a lot more room on your plate (and in your tummy) for delicious seasonal fresh fruit and veggies without the bun!
This blog post is by Jen Jacobsen, an Anytime Fitness Club Manager. She has a passion for changing peoples lives to give them a better quality of life with their loved ones. To submit a question for future articles, please contact the author email@example.com.
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