Your Summer SMART Eating Guide:
7 ways to keep the weight off this summer
- Keep your goals in sight. Whether your goal is to maintain the weight you’ve already lost or you want to lose more, make sure you have these goals written then and posted in a place that you see every day. This will help you stay focused and motivated, even during the lazy days of summer.
- Keep a food journal. It’s easy to fall off the wagon in the summer when the kids are off from school and every night is an excuse for an impromptu barbecue. Try writing down what you eat each day in a food journal. It is a powerful visual reminder that will help you stay on track. If the waistline on your shorts is getting a little tight, take a look at your food journal to see if you are consuming more Processed Food or Empty Carbs than you should or if you have been waiting too long between meals.
- Drink your water. Thirst is often mistaken for hunger, and staying well hydrated helps you not to overeat. And in the heat of summer, it’s also very easy to become dehydrated. Carry a water bottle with you at all times, sip from it frequently. Spice up your water by adding sliced lemons, limes or cucumbers.
- Don’t skip meals. Keep your hunger in check by eating three regular-sized meals (and your choice of two snacks) every day. Some people do better with four or five smaller meals each day. The important thing is to keep your appetite and your cravings under control.
- Plan ahead. Keep snacks like nuts at your fingertips so that you are less tempted by less healthy summertime treats. Keep cut-up veggies and tasty low-carb dips in your fridge for easy snacking. Boil up a batch of hard-boiled eggs that you can grab on the go when hunger hits. Grill extra meat for dinner, refrigerate the leftovers and serve over salads or in wraps during the week. Stash a few PLAN-AHEAD meals in your freezer so you always have a quick nutrient dense, portion-controlled meal ready in minutes.
- Embrace summer! Summer meals are easy to do with the wealth of fresh vegetables in season, and perfect weather for outdoor grilling. Everything just seems to taste better when you eat it outside. Make a habit of visiting your local farmer’s market for new ingredients to build your meals around. Add in fresh herbs for a big kick in flavor to your recipes. Switch out grilled chicken breast for steak, lamb, buffalo burgers, scallops, shrimp, salmon or more and enjoy the feast!
- Work it off. Don’t beat yourself up if you overindulged. Get moving instead! Take advantage of the beautiful weather and get outside and exercise. Add in a regular evening walk after dinner, hit the tennis court or golf course on the weekends, or go for a hike or bike ride.
The nutritional power of Asparagus have been prized for their health benefits. The spears are a good source of Vitamin K which is important for bone health and blood clotting and can help reduce the risk of serious health problems like heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. They’re delicious in soups, salads, stir-fries, and pasta. Try this: Asparagus and Swiss Cheese Frittata via Skinny Taste
This dark green leafy vegetable is power-packed with antioxidants, anti-inflammatory properties, and vitamins that promote vision and bone health. One cup of spinach packs up to 12 percent of the recommended daily dose of calcium. Try this: Caprese Spinach Salad via Small Wallet Big Appetite
A USDA study found that artichokes have more antioxidants than any other vegetable. While many people’s favorite part is the heart, it is the leaves that contain many of the artichoke’s powerful health benefits. Try this: Artichoke and Mushroom Chicken via The Novice Housewife
Savory sweet peaches are one of the great treats of summer. They’re low in calories and offer a wide range of healthful benefits. Peaches overall are an amazing fruit! Try this: Mango Peach Salsa via Winner Dinners
Whether you enjoy apricots dried or fresh, they are a delicious and nutritious summer snack. They are low in calorie yet a rich source of dietary fiber, vitamins and minerals that can help protect the heart and eyes. Try this: Grilled Apricots via Tiny Telecast
Cherries are one of our most popular summer fruits with so many incredible health benefits. Cherries are a superfruit loaded with potassium, vitamin C, and antioxidants that may help you sleep better, lose weight, and prevent diseases including cancer. Try this: Limoncello Cocktail Cherries via The View from Great Island
I can’t enjoy a cool summer beverage without lemons! This superfood is packed with flavor. The lemon juice has only 12 calories but a whopping third of the daily recommended value of vitamin C and other antioxidants. Try this: Lemonade Ice Tea via Peaches & Cream
Cauliflower is one vegetable you should add to your diet. It is rich in nutrients and flavor, and low in calories and from a health standpoint, it’s full of cancer-fighting compounds. Try this: Cheesy Roasted Cauliflower via Food Fitness Fresh Air
Blackberries are at their peak this season and has the highest level of antioxidants. They are low in calories, virtually fat free, high in fiber and rich in nutrients, making them a good choice for anyone trying to maintain or lose weight in a nutritious manner. Also, research suggests that their vitamin content may help reduce your risk of heart problems, periodontal disease and age-related decline in motor and cognitive function. Try this: Blackberry-Acai Creamy Sorbet via Healthy. Happy. Life.
10. Fava Beans
Fava Beans have some powerful benefits and are typically in-season throughout the summer months. They’re full of folate, fiber, and magnesium and can actually help lower cholesterol and your risk of certain cancers. Try this: Fava Bean Ravioli via Familystyle Food
Peas make a colorful summer side dish or can become a main meal when mixed with pasta or rice. Peas are in fact packed with vital nutrients and benefits including weight management, blood sugar regulation, anti-aging components, and anti-inflammatory properties. Try this: Savory Quinoa Muffins via Rachel Cooks
You can’t have a barbeque without corn! I love fresh corn right off the grill but I also love it in soups, salads, casserole, and more! Try this: Quinoa, Avocado, and Corn salad via Hot Beauty Health
Cucumbers are truly cooling and make a great summer vegetable to add to any dish. They’re available in stores all year round but are at their best during the summer and early fall. It’s a low calorie vegetable and contains most of the vitamins you need everyday. Try this: Cucumber Lemony Cooler via Food Punch
14. Green Beans
A seasonal vegetables like green beans not only provide healthy benefits to our bodies, they keep our skin smooth and healthy. Many people don’t think of green beans as a summer vegetable but in actuality, they are at their best during the summer months. Try this: Garlicky Green Beans via Cooking Madly
15. Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are the perfect compliment to your grilled dish. It contains so many health benefits that Whole Foods considers them one of the healthiest vegetables we eat. Try this: Vegan Black Bean and Sweet Potato Sliders via The Pig and Quill
16. Swiss Chard
Swiss Chard is one of the most antioxidant-rich foods on the planet! It contains beta-carotene, vitamin E, vitamin C, zinc and many other disease fighting antioxidants. Try this: Swiss Chard Lasagna Rollups via Kim’s Healthy Eats
Sweet and juicy plums are a summer pleasure. They’re a sweet yet healthy way to satisfy your hunger. It’s high in potassium which helps manage high blood pressure and reduce stroke risk. Plums also contain cancer-fighting components. Try this: Grilled Plums with Mascarpone and Honey via NeighborFood
This summer vegetable is a southern delicacy that can be pickled, fried, baked or boiled. It’s a nutritional powerhouse known for its high concentration of Vitamin C, Vitamin K, and Folate. Okra is also known for harnessing a superior fiber, which helps with digestion, stabilizes blood sugar, and helps to control the rate at which sugar is absorbed. Try this: Oven-Fried Okra via Farm Flavor
Strawberries are loaded with Vitamin C and one cup of these berries satifies the daily requirement. These sweet and tart berries are the perfect way to enjoy the summer season. Try this: Strawberries ‘n’ Coconut Cream Pops via Mississippi Kitchen
Did you know that Kiwi provides more potassium than the same amount of sliced bananas, but with less sugar and calories? Kiwi may taste sweet, but have three times less sugar than one apple. Try this: Kiwifruit Custard Tarts via Strands of My Life
Who can resist this highly nutritious fish? It’s full of omega 3′s and a delicious addition to your summer barbecue whether served hot or cold. Try this: Composed Salad with Salmon and Beets via Five and Spice
Mangoes are my favorite summer fruit and widely known as the king of fruit due to its nutritional benefits. They contain plentiful minerals, vitamins, as well as antioxidants which have been essential for the body to fight disease. Try this: Mango Float in a Jar via Oh So Very Pretty
During the summer, some of the best summer smoothies include pineapples because they are refreshing and full of flavor. More importantly, they are healthy and nutritious as most people who partake in a healthy lifestyle include this fruit in their diet. Try this: Pineapple Shortcakes (Taiwanese Style) via Sincerely Fiona
Yellow Squash is a type of summer squash that grows all over the United States. It is a great source of vitamin C and a very good source of magnesium, vitamin A, and fiber. Try this: Yellow Squash with Tomato and Parmesean via Kalyn’s Kitchen
This refreshingly cold soup is perfect for those hot summer days. Gazpacho delivers a full spectrum of vitamins and minerals. Although gazpacho is traditionally tomato based, watermelon and cucumber gazpacho are becoming increasingly popular. Try this: Rustic Tomato Gazpacho via The White Ramekins