As we head into barbecue season, you’re probably thinking about the toll all those burgers, buns, chips and pasta side dishes will have on your beach body. Get your summer off to a healthy start with these great tips for healthy summer eating:
1. Bring a healthy dish
If you’re running the show, it’s easy to plan a healthy menu. That doesn’t have to change just because you’re a guest. When you ask the hostess what you can bring to the potluck, suggest healthy contributions like salads, a veggie platter with hummus or fruit kabobs. In the throes of summer’s heat, a juicy watermelon seems decadent and delicious! Plus, all the fiber of fruits and vegetables can help you feel fuller longer.
2. Stay hydrated
Dehydration can be a major contributor to hunger pangs. Sipping a full glass of water prior to eating can really curb the urge to overeat. Infuse it with fruit for a pretty and luscious summer beverage.
3. Keep it colorful
Fruits and vegetables add color and delicious flavor to any summer cookout. On the grill or as a light summer side dish, keep things fresh, healthy and satisfying by adding color to your plate.
4. Pay attention to portions
Portion control is an important aspect of healthy summer eating, even more so when you’re tempted by tantalizing aromas wafting from the grill, tasty side dishes and decadent desserts. Portion control doesn’t mean eating tiny amounts of everything. It just means being aware of how much you’re eating. Try these points of reference:
–A cell phone or deck of cards = 3 ounces of chicken or beef
–A baseball = 1 cup (good for portioning out side dishes)
–Your thumb = 1 tablespoon (a handy measurement for dressings)
5. Snack responsibly
One of the easiest ways to control how much you eat in one sitting is to snack responsibly throughout the day. If you’re headed to an evening cookout after work, grab a healthy vending snack around mid-afternoon. Whatever you do, don’t show up on an empty stomach. You’ll only be tempted to overeat.
6. Get moving
Instead of staying at the table, walk around and chat with other guests. Consider an after-dinner stroll, bring your swimsuit for a dip in the pool, or organize some fun, traditional backyard games such as potato sack races or kickball. BBQs are social events, so get moving and mingle!