6 Important Healthy Eating Tips for the Summer

By on June 21, 2015

Nutrition is a touchy subject, as no one really likes to be told how or what they should eat. For most folks, however, it is the limiting factor when it comes to their health and wellness. As warm weather rolls around, people will be exposed to a number of nutritional minefields that can offer some challenges to the ever bulging waistline. Whether your goal is simply to stay in shape for your kids or to improve your health markers for better lifestyle management, here are 6 practical tips that you can utilize today and throughout the entire summer.

  1. Ditch Liquid Calories

As a general rule of thumb, you should try to chew all of your calories whenever possible. In the summer, however, it is important to stay as hydrated as possible. There’s just a piece of very important advice – forget the apple juice and stick to sparkling water instead. Liquid calories such as juice, soda, and sweet tea are low in protein, fiber, and overall volume. These options will digest rapidly and exit the stomach quickly, leaving you with little to no satiety and loads of calories.

  1. Exercise Restraint2 Exercise Restraint

Be it a BBQ, picnic, or neighborhood party, odds are you’re going to be around quite a plethora of calorie-dense food options this summer. However, you shouldn’t assume that you have to try every dish and dessert at these functions. Stick to lean meats, fresh fruits, and vegetables, and then select one or two of your favorite dishes to taste. Studies have shown that environment, societal pressure, and excessive food choices can increase nutritional intake without subjects even realizing any difference.

natural sunscreen with zinc oxide
  1. Take Initiative

3 Take InitiativeWhen it comes to cookouts, health is often the last thing on most people’s minds and as such you’re faced with a bevy of less than friendly options for your waistline and general health. But, if you want to make the most of your health and the social experience, then just make your own dish. It doesn’t have to be anything complicated but now you have a healthy option to fall back upon if the other guests aren’t the most health-conscious individuals. For example, you wouldn’t have anything to worry about by making your own special homemade protein bars to cookouts or social events lined up this summer.

  1. Palm Portions

Calorie counting? You shouldn’t need an undergraduate degree in mathematics in order to manage your weight. Not to mention the actual caloric content of food and individual expenditure can vary by up to 25%. So much for accuracy, eh?

Enter the simple solution – your hand. The good folks at precision nutrition devised this simple system as a way to manage caloric intake without having to worry about weighing or tracking your food. In essence, your palm represents the average size of a serving of protein, a closed fist for fruit and vegetable servings, the length of your thumb for fat sources, and a cupped hand for carbohydrate-dense foods.

For example, an active male might have 2 palms of protein, 2 fists of vegetables, 2 thumbs of fat, and 2 cupped handfuls of fruit or starchy carbohydrates as a meal. For women, just simply cut those numbers in half.

Again, portion sizes and caloric intake will differ from person to person based upon their size and activity levels. However, this simple system allows everyone to improve their awareness of serving sizes and calorie intake without having to ever touch a calculator.

  1. Eat off smaller plates

Researchers at the University of Cornell found that simply switching from normal dinner-sized plates to 10-12 inch options could reduce calorie intake by 20-22% without any additional lifestyle alterations. If you continued to use the plates for a month to reduce your intake, the average person would hypothetically lose 2 pounds. The number on the scale isn’t the only viable way to just progress but this is an excellent place if you’re looking to implement lifestyle modifications that will lead to rich dividends in the long run.

  1. Be Mindful

6 Be MindfulMost folks overeat simply because they fail to give their body enough time to send feedback signals from their stomach to their brain. As you go through your next meal, try to be more mindful of your satiety. Stop eating when you’re 80% full and only go back for seconds after you’ve waited 20 minutes. Both of these strategies will provide adequate time for regulatory hunger mechanisms to kick in. If you’re indeed still hungry after 20 minutes, then you can go back for seconds and make smart choices.

Bridging the Gap between Diets and YOUR Lifestyle

Diet is such a misleading word; most assume it correlates with severe caloric restriction and food deprivation, whilst one eagerly checks the scale and hopes to see some subjective means of improvement. But, as Dr. Yoni Freedhoff, assistant professor from the University of Ottawa says, “Weight loss through suffering is regained when you get sick of suffering.” Always remember, healthy eating should be a lifestyle, not a diet.

Demmy James is a fitness buff as well as a strength and conditioning specialist. He is a content contributor at Muscle & Strength

LivingBetter50 is a magazine for women over 50, offering an over 50 magazine free download for women of spirit!

About Demmy James

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

6 Important Healthy Eating Tips for the Summer