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Some of my clients who have recently lost weight say that the warmer temperatures have contributed to their weight loss - they say they move more and eat less during the summer months. On the contrary, a few of my clients report that the temptation of unhealthy food at local fairs, barbecues, and an increase in alcoholic and sugary drinks leads them to weight gain.
Luckily, you can be health conscious and still have a great summer. Here are some solutions to summer's toughest temptations.
' Beware of the burger. A beef burger topped with cheese contains saturated fat along with high levels of calories and sodium, says Saba Sassouni, a New York City-based dietitian. Highly refined white bread and loads of condiments also can be a calorie bomb.
Solution: 'Hold the cheese, top the burger with a fresh tomato slice, and have a piece of corn on the cob instead of a processed bun for starch,” Sassouni suggests. You can also skip the red meat and go for chicken. Add some healthy toppings like avocado, spinach, onions and swap out high-sodium ketchup for a homemade rub.
' Rethink umbrella drinks. 'On average, a pina colada or Long Island iced tea can clock in at 600 to 800 calories,” says Amy Goodson, sports nutritionist for the Dallas Cowboys. 'Plus, when you drink alcohol you typically care less about what you're eating. So add two 600-calorie drinks to your happy hour chips and guacamole and you're close to 2,000 calories while the night still is young.”
Solution: For a lower-calorie alternative, Goodson recommends mixing clear liquor with a calorie-free beverage. Have a game plan before you sip your first drink - decide on your drink limit for the night and ask for water in between each drink.
' Enjoy food at the fair in moderation. The excitement of a fair with family and friends can lead to overeating foods that you usually wouldn't consider eating. Unfortunately, the fried foods at fairs can be the most dangerous. A funnel cake contains 760 calories and a whopping 44 grams of fat.
Solution: Eat a healthy meal before you go to the fair, stay hydrated with water and bring a healthy snack. If you end up purchasing an item that you want to try, a couple bites won't ruin your healthy eating, just share with friends.
' Beat the heat in a healthier way. Cold ice cream on a hot summer day can be a nice way to cool off, but all those scoops can add up if you are indulging every day - especially if you like a lot of toppings. Frozen yogurt really isn't any better. Most frozen yogurts have tons of added sugar and sometimes more calories than ice cream. 'Furthermore, the probiotic benefit from natural yogurt with active cultures is essentially missing,” says Dr. Brian Quebbemann, a bariatric surgeon in Newport Beach, Calif.
Solution: Swap out ice cream for sorbet. Cold Stone Creamery's raspberry sorbet only has 150 calories for a small. If you want to indulge in ice cream or frozen yogurts, just have a small scoop and add fresh fruit to add some healthy sugar to curb your sweet tooth. Moderation is key.
' Kylie Alger is a certified wellness coach and co-owner of The Well-Woman: Body, Mind & Spirit. Comments: email@example.com