The lazy days, cookouts, road trips and countless activities of summer can make sticking to a healthy diet even trickier than usual if you aren’t prepared. The five tips below will help you maintain a healthy diet all season long, without feeling like you are missing out on summer fun.
1- Focus on Fruits & Veggies
There is no better time than summer to make healthy fruits and vegetables the centerpiece of your diet. Shop your local farmers market to find a bounty of fresh produce. Load up on seasonal fruits like peaches, watermelon and berries for a nutritious way to satisfy your sweet tooth. Summer squash, tomatoes, cucumbers and many different types of greens can be the focus of simple healthy meals. With all of the produce available in the summer, it will be easy to find new favorite vegetables and recipes to support your healthy diet.
2- Light and Easy
Keep your meals simple and healthy this summer, and you will free up your time for more summer fun. Simple grilled fish, chicken or beef will pair nicely with fresh vegetables for an easy and healthy dinner. The protein will ensure that your light meal will also be filling. The bounty of fresh summer produce can make it easier to incorporate more meatless meals into your healthy diet.
3- Cookout Tips
Navigating a cookout while following a healthy diet can be difficult and frustrating. If you find yourself avoiding the fun of a summer cookout or wishing you could just abandon your healthy diet, don’t despair. With a little effort, you can find many things to enjoy at a cookout without feeling you are making a huge sacrifice. Just like you would at home, fill your plate with generous servings of fresh fruits and vegetables alongside grilled meats or fish. Play it safe with your diet and avoid casseroles, dressed salads and heavy desserts. Don’t be too hard on yourself; remember, it is perfectly fine to give yourself permission to splurge a little.
4- Stay Hydrated
Good hydration is a key part of a healthy diet regardless of the season, but it is even more important in the summer months. Warm weather and an active lifestyle can increase your hydration needs during the summer, and you will likely find yourself reaching for your water bottle more often. Water is best for a healthy diet, while sodas, juices and alcohol should be avoided altogether or enjoyed in very limited amounts. If you are getting tired of drinking plain water, try one of these infused water recipes to add a little taste to your water habit.
5- Plan Ahead for Vacation
Feel free to relax your diet a bit during your vacation, but make sure it doesn’t spiral out of control into an endless all-you-can-eat buffet. Planning ahead will be the key to your success. Research restaurant and menus ahead of time to find healthy options and perhaps strategize your cheat meals. If your lodging has kitchen space, consider cooking in part of the time to ensure at least some of your meals will be healthy.
A summer road trip doesn’t have to mean a diet of fast food and convenience store candy and soda. Pack some healthy snacks from home or search out healthier options along the way. You may be surprised how many roadside stops actually stock healthy staples like nuts, string cheese or fruit.
Summer is full of activities that can wreak havoc on a healthy diet if you don’t do your homework, but all challenges are easily overcome with a few tips a little planning.