Labor Day may have come and gone, but the September forecast is looking warm – so we anticipate our summer activities will continue on for a few more weekends. You know the summer months are marked by backyard barbecues, vacationing, and all of the extra food and drinks that come with time spent on a patio.
If you have worked hard to make changes to your diet, you might be frustrated now there is temptation everywhere! Don’t want to miss out on the fun, but also want to stay on track? Tufts Medical Center is here to help find the balance between the extremes of indulgence and denial.
What can you do?
Summer is a fantastic time to eat healthy while still enjoying yourself. As you do the rest of the year, be mindful of what you’re eating, and remember – everything in moderation.
Create a plan that works for your lifestyle, and remember to always keep healthy eating fun by experimenting with new recipes.
Your diet should include a balance of essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals – and that’s definitely possible in the summer! It should include the following components:
Protein is essential for fueling our muscles and maintaining our body tissues as weight is lost. It’s also very filling and satisfying when eaten as a component of a balanced meal. Each healthy person should consume 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight.
- Summer Eating Tip: When possible, choose grilled chicken without extra sauces, or 93% lean ground meats to get the right protein, without the extra fat and sugar.
Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are essential because they provide vitamins and minerals to support every reaction in our body. The skins and flesh of fruits and vegetables provide fiber that is filling in our stomach while providing very little calories compared to other foods. Fruits and vegetables also provide a lot of bulk, which gives us the feeling that we’re consuming a large meal. This is especially helpful when trying to manage portions of more calorie dense foods.
- Summer Eating Tip: Make fruits and vegetables the first stop when you’re filling your plate – shoot for 50% fruits and veggies. And, buy produce at the farmers market! You’ll incorporate a great summer activity with fresher, local options!
High Fiber Carbohydrates
Carbohydrates are important in any diet. Carbohydrates provide glucose, the primary fuel for our brain. Choosing carbohydrates with more fiber will keep you fuller longer and prevent drastic fluctuations in blood glucose levels (which can lead to hunger and pre-diabetes).
- Summer Eating Tip: Replace your white burger bun with a whole wheat or whole grain bun. This simple move gives you extra fiber and more complex carbohydrates to keep you fuller, longer.
Essential fatty acids
Fats have been vilified in the past, but they provide essential fatty acids and help to absorb fat soluble vitamins such as A, D, E, and K. Fat is also very satisfying and including a little fat at each meal can help to keep you full.
- Summer Eating Tip: Add avocado to a salad to give it extra bulk.
Each person should consume 64 fluid oz. of calorie-free, caffeine-free beverages each day. Hydration is crucial in the warmer months especially.
- Summer Eating Tip: Try different infusions such as cucumber, lemon, mint, and strawberries, to spruce up your water!
Looking for more information on healthy eating habits? The Weight & Wellness Center at Tufts MC has you covered!
Disclaimer: The content provided in this post is intended solely for the information of the reader. This information is not medical advice and should not replace a consultation with a medical professional.