Summer brings with it several challenges that might disrupt our healthy lifestyle patterns .... from eating ice creams to feeling lazy on hot summery days. But there are ways and means on how to overcome these challenges.
Here are 7 nutritional tips on how to enjoy summery times and remain healthy throughout!
1. Rethink your drink
Avoid soft drinks and drink more refreshing water (about 2 litres of water per day).
Tip: If you do not like water, make your own infused water to give it a delicious taste.
2. Eat two fruit a day
Summer fruit are the best because apart from being deliciously sweet, they keep us hydrated. Staying hydrated is great because it is vital to maintain a happy mood. These include watermelons, melons, peaches, pineapples, mangos and many more. For example, watermelon is a major source of the antioxidant lycopene which is a major player in moods disorders. Apart from this, these fruits contain may immunity busters that fight against possible harmful bacteria and viruses.
Tip: Instead of an ice cream, make your own fruit ice lolly.
3. Eat three vegetables a day
It is important to eat three vegetables a day as part of a healthy eating pattern. Vegetables give important health benefits and protect us from severe health conditions such as heart diseases and cancers. Rightly so, choosing vegetables over high-calorie foods can help in managing weight loss since they provide greater satiety and contain low calories.
Tip: The more you eat raw vegetables, the more nutrients you will get. For example, have raw carrots or cherry tomatoes as snacks.
4. Increase your beans and pulses intake.
Beans and pulses are cheap, low fat source of proteins, high in fibre, vitamins, and minerals. Who said that beans and pulses are boring? All you need is a little bit of creativity and imagination to create delicious snacks and dishes out of beans and pulses. Apart from this, beans, and legumes, give you that feeling of fullness so as to avoid frequent nibbling.
Tip: Hummus is a good example of a tasty legume dip
5. Choosing healthier options when dining out with friends!
Good news!! You can still enjoy a good company, while having a healthy meal at your favourite restaurant (and forget about that guilt feeling afterwards!!).Be smart and choose a dish that you think is healthy. For example, choosing a grilled meal is far much lower in calories than choosing a fried meal. Here we are speaking about a difference of circa 800 calories. Tryto avoid French fries as much as possible as these literally absorb all the fat in the world! Instead, you may ask for roasted potatoes, more salad, or steamed vegetables.
Tip: When ordering meat, if you ask for a sauce, tell the waiters to put it in a side cup rather than on top of the meat. In this way you could better visualise what you are eating, and it will be easier to avoid eating unhealthy visible fat
6. Portion Size
Yes it does matter. Large food portion servings not only provide us with more calories but also encourage us to eat more and underestimate how much we are actually eating. If we eat larger portions, it is important to compensate for those extra fats and calories to maintain a healthy weight. Controlling our portion sizes is a small step that can make a huge difference in the long run.
Tip: When dinning out, either have a starter and a main course or a main course and a desert rather than a 3-course meal
7. Keep hydrated whilst exercing
During a workout, we lose a lot of water (through sweat) and during the summer period it is even worse. Try to work out early in the morning or when the sun sets. The ideal workout during summer is swimming, to keep our body cool. Never forget to wear sunscreen with an SPF of 50+ and a hat.
Tip: Always carry with you a bottle of cold water when working out to avoid heat strokes and dehydration
Do not forget, hard work is the key for success, so do not give up and choose healthy and wisely this summer!
Author: Raelene Soler B.Sc. (Hons) (Melit.), M.Sc. (Hons) (Melit.) P.G.Dip.Nutr & Diet. (Melit) is a qualified nurse and a state registered nutritionist. Click on the link for more information and recipes: https://www.facebook.com/in.nutritionist