5 tips for summer dieting

burning calories (photo by pennuja via Flickr)

I’ve been neglecting the topic of weight loss and dieting for too long, and it’s a good time to re-visit that, what with swimsuit and shorts season upon us.  Plus dieting is easier in summer:

  • appetite is reduced in hot weather
  • you can fill up on all the fresh vegetables and fruits that are in season
  • you can get outside more for activity, such as taking a long walk or bike ride in the evening

But there are potential pitfalls, too:

  • drinking more liquids may mean more sugar calories, if you’re hooked on sweetened soft drinks and sports beverages.
  • outdoor parties and BBQs may tempt you to overeat
  • vacation travel, especially to places with new and interesting food may also tempt you to over-indulge
  • ice cream, gelato and frozen yoghurt

How can you make the most of summer, while avoiding the pitfalls?

  1. Be active!  Evenings are long, and it’s light earlier in the morning.  Either get up early for a jog/walk or get out in the evening, whether before or after dinner.  Then there’s swimming, a classic summer activity, whether you swim in the ocean, a lake or a pool.
  2. ‘Eighty-six’ the sugary drinks.  If you’re hot and thirsty, drink water.  This goes for kids, too.  Sports drinks do not make you an athlete, so unless you’re training for a demanding event, drink water.
  3. Stick with small portions.  This goes for ice cream, gelato and frozen yoghurt.  Get the kids’ size cone or share a small cup with someone.
  4. Fill up on the abundance of fresh vegetables and fruits.
  5. Don’t drown your fresh fruits and vegetables in sugar and fat.  This goes for fresh corn (butter), fruit salad (sugar or whipped cream), grilled vegetables (dosed with greasy marinades or sauces) or fresh veggies (fatty dips).  Enjoy these foods in their natural un-gunked-up state.

Now repeat #1: Get some more exercise.

As a dessert lover, I have a favorite plan for a light summer supper:

  • have a vegetable-based meal, such as a big salad with olive oil vinaigrette, or grilled vegetables basted with a bit of olive oil, or a chopped-style salad.  Maybe have small portions of 2 or 3 vegetable dishes.  That’s it, just a whole lot of vegetables.
  • for dessert have a bowl of yoghurt, about 8 oz.  Go ahead and enjoy a sweetened one, but make it quality yogurt, not some generic variety thickened up with chemicals.   My absolute new favorite is Noosa Yogurt.  Honestly this stuff is better than ice cream.  I don’t know how they do it, but it’s awesome, and makes a fabulous dessert.
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