Between summer getaways and summer barbecue parties, it can be easy to get off track when you’re trying to eat healthy. But by having a game plan, you can travel and accept party invites that come your way without breaking your usual diet. Check out some of the best ways to stay on track this summer.
Pregame or Bring Your Own Healthy Meal
When traveling it can be hard to find a healthy option, so it can be helpful to carry a snack with you so that you’re not tempted to overindulge in whatever fast food is handy. If you are attending a barbecue potluck, take the opportunity to bring something that can double as a main dish, like a green salad that you can top with grilled chicken. Or deviled eggs with Greek yogurt in place of mayonnaise.
Pick a Protein Wisely
Smoked turkey and skinless white chicken meat or fish and veggies are all healthy options at barbecues or at restaurants. Red meat like brisket, burgers and steaks have nutritional value but are also high in fat and saturated fats.
Skip the Questionable Side Dishes
Collard greens may sound healthy because they have “green” in the name, but they are made with lard or animal fat. If you do indulge, make sure to drain the juice first. When it comes to beans, if they taste deliciously sweet and smoky it’s because they contain bacon or other animal fats and plenty of sugar. Aim for bean salad, which often contains less sugar and no fat. Creamy coleslaw is filled with mayo, but a vinegar style slaw is a great source of fiber. With salads choose a vinaigrette rather than a creamy, mayo-rich dressing.
For the Starches
Potato salad, fries and potatoes don’t offer much in the way of nutrition and are loaded with carbs and often topped with fatty ingredients, like bacon bit and sour cream. To get your carb fix, go for yams or plain corn on the cob without butter.
Don’t Forget to Count Liquid Calories Too
Oftentimes people forget that drinks and beverages are high in calories and sugar. Frozen drinks, like margaritas and daiquiris, are particularly bad culprits. Stick to light beer or wine spritzers and unsweetened iced tea for a refreshment.
Get Your Sweet Fix
Go for fresh fruit and skip the sugary temptation of pies, cobblers, s’mores and other summertime favorites.
Remember to eat mindfully and chew slowly to allow your mind to catch up with your stomach. Don’t let other people’s eating habits get you off track. Studies show that you tend to eat more in a crowd than when dining alone. Enjoy your summer plans with these tips.