8 Ways to Avoid Warm Weather Weight GainArticle posted in: Diet & Nutrition
Vacations. Barbecues. Weekends at the lake or beach. Spring and summer are meant to be savored and those warm weather foods are just waiting to be enjoyed. By all means: have a burger, a cold beer, or a slice of key lime pie. You’re more likely to stay on track when you eat your favorite foods. It’s the quantity and frequency that matters most when you’re following a diet or healthy-eating lifestyle. Bottom line? Don’t go overboard.
Check out these eight simple tips to avoid that warm weather weight gain:
1. Drink This Instead.
You’re headed on a girls’ weekend, and your best friend is bringing her famous margaritas. If you tell your BFF about your weight-loss commitment beforehand and ask for her support, you’re more likely to have just one margarita. After you’ve had your margarita, mix up another “special” drink like sparkling water with fresh lime and mint. You’ll still feel like you’re indulging and you’ll have avoided the 400+ calories that accompany the average ‘rita.
2. Headed to Happy Hour?
Are all your coworkers headed to that rooftop restaurant after work? Tell them you’ll meet them after you fit in a quick walk or workout. You could even invite your crew to workout with you. If you do end up at the restaurant, don’t partake in the greasy appetizers and order your own meal instead: Grilled salmon with veggies. Stick to the one-drink rule.
3. Fair Fare:
Food festivals are a delicious part of warm weather. If you’re sure you can say no to those deep-fried temptations, go to the fair and seek out the foods you can enjoy, guilt-free: Popcorn (skip the butter), roasted peanuts, smoked chicken or homemade jerky. Be sure to walk an extra lap or two around the fairgrounds for some exercise.
4. Make a Trade:
It’s usually pretty easy to lighten up a heavy recipe. Use whole-grain pasta, olive oil, herbs and lemon juice to make pasta salad. Try sweet potatoes, turnips and Greek yogurt in potato salad. Use lean ground beef for burgers and skip the bun. You can even make your own milkshake by using South Beach shake mix, ice and one cup of whole milk. Add a little peanut butter for extra flavor and protein.
5. Sweet Surrender:
Is dessert your downfall? Fruit is your friend. Lucky for you, warm weather accompanies peak fruit season. Trade that lemon meringue pie for some fresh cantaloupe or strawberries. Offer to bring “dessert” to that barbecue and make a fruit salad. Don’t forget fruit smoothies. Add fresh spinach or kale to your shake and you’ll fulfill a vegetable serving while you satiate your sweet tooth.
6. Saturday Staple:
Find a great farmers market. Or two. Or three. These food festivals are a dieter’s dream and the perfect place to stock up on fresh eggs, cheeses, veggies, fruits and herbs—often for far less than you’d pay at the supermarket. Buy farm-fresh ingredients you’ve never cooked with and create a new, healthy meal for your family. The vendors are often great resources for recipes and inspiration.
7. Green Thumb?
Have some empty space in the backyard? Consider growing your own veggies. You’ll get exercise preparing, planting and tending to your garden and with any luck, you’ll be rewarded with your own fresh vegetables all throughout the summer. Not sure where to start? Visit your local nursery and ask for some help or find out if they offer seminars. Better yet? Download an audio book on gardening and work out while you listen.
8. Go, Go, Go.
Warm weather means more opportunities to get outside and exercise. Go for an evening bike ride with your family before the sun goes down. Block out time on your calendar to walk at work and take the appointment as seriously as you would a meeting with your boss. When you’re on vacation, it’s especially important to remember your routine. Take an hour-long walk on the beach, rent a paddleboat or kayak, or start your day with morning run.