Between kids being home from school, barbecues, ice-cold beverages and ice cream, it’s not uncommon for summer to have a negative impact on your waistline. Here are five ways to prevent that summertime weight gain.
One of the best ways to avoid over-indulging is to be prepared with healthy snacks. Once a week, do some snack prep. Cut up some fruit, make a snack-size bag of almonds, slice up some fresh vegetables and buy individual-sized hummus. When you have healthy snacks prepared and on hand, you’ll be less likely to hit up the drive-through or frozen yogurt shop. Having a midmorning and midafternoon snack also helps to regulate your blood sugar levels and metabolism.
When you have your meals planned, you’re more likely to eat proper portion sizes and prepare healthier meals than when you make last-minute decisions. These last-minute decisions often lead to convenience meals or dining out, where sodium, calories and correct portion sizes are often ignored.
On sweltering summer days, ice cream, slushies and frozen margaritas can really hit the spot. The coolness of these treats can give you the immediate satisfaction you’re craving, but end up spiking your blood sugar levels causing an inevitable crash a few hours later. This crash can lead you to overeat later on in the day. Occasionally, having an ice cream cone or a margarita is fine, but on a regular basis, opt for healthier alternatives like frozen, pureed fruit or homemade smoothies.
Between the heat and kids being home from school, it’s easy to come up with excuses to skip your workout. If you don’t have child care and can’t make it to the gym, find ways to work out at home. You can take the kids on long walks or go for a run while they ride their bikes. If you’re missing tranquility, you can buy a yoga DVD and practice at home. For strength training, you can buy free weights or resistance bands and work out at home. (Tip: If you’re on a budget, many consignment stores actually sell used free weights.) If you have the budget, consider hiring a personal trainer or yoga instructor to come to your home for private sessions.
Did you know a meal consisting of a 6-ounce steak, a baked potato with butter and sour cream and corn on the cob can contain over 1,000 calories? Opt for leaner cuts of meat like a skinless chicken breast. When making your plate, load it up with fruits and vegetables and add your meat. Eat these foods first, then if you still want the starchy foods, add them to your plate.
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