With the kids now out of school and Memorial Day behind us, that means that summer days are here. You can already smell the backyard barbecues and see kids holding their dripping ice cream treats playing outside. I love, love, love summer!! But, as we all know, it is also that carefree time of year that makes it that much harder to stick to eating healthy with social functions, lake trips and summer drinks on the patio, weekend after weekend. So, how do we enjoy all the things we love about summer without it expanding our waistline? Well, I can tell you that it does NOT involve dieting. Instead, let’s simplify your summer game plan with one main theme: Portion Control. Portion Control No matter how healthy you eat, you can still gain weight if you’re eating too much. Adjusting your portions can keep you on the right track without feeling restricted with foods you love in these warmer months. Try these portion control tips:
Choose the smallest plate offered when dishing up your food.
Enjoy your “firsts” and forget the “seconds”. If you are putting the appropriate portions on your plate, you really shouldn’t be hungry for more food; it’s more likely a habit you’ve gotten into.
Always include a palm-sized protein on your plate and fill half of your plate with vegetables. If you want a starchy carb like potatoes or rice, this gets just ¼ of your plate (equal to a cupped handful) if you have room on your small plate.
If you are at a party and decide you must have those chips, don’t be shy about looking at that label if they are served from a bag. See what the servings size is and put half of that number onto your plate. If they aren’t in a bag, shoot for 5-6 chips. Just enough for a taste, but not too much to over-do it.
If you are out to eat, eat just half of your meal and ask for a to-go box. Or even better -- split your meal with a friend that is also watching her weight.
Eat slowly and only until you’re 80% full. This is especially important when eating those foods you love that aren’t necessarily as healthy. Let yourself enjoy it more by actually being able to taste each bite. Put your fork down between every few bites or stop to chat with your friends you are with. It takes about 20 minutes for your stomach to tell your brain that you’re full, and eating slowly will decrease the chance of overeating.
Want dessert? Plan ahead. If you feel like it’s going to one of those sweet-tooth nights, opt for a smaller dinner, like a healthy appetizer or a light salad and enjoy a small dessert.
Healthy living is all about moderation and choices. When you are trying to lose fat or weight, it can sometimes feel like you have no control. Pile on the feelings of ‘I can’t have that’ over and over, and all of sudden your “healthy” living turns into resentment, and it’s all over. The truth is, is that you DO have control. You DO control what you put into your mouth and how you react and feel. Nobody else has this over you. So, do your best this summer to choose the healthiest options that would make your body feel good. And, the rest of the time, allow yourself to indulge a little guilt-free by keeping your portions under control. (Just make sure you are saving those indulgences on treats or foods worthy of things you really LOVE.) Let’s get FIRED UPP, Nat P.S. If you need help staying on track this summer with some extra accountability for your nutrition and workouts, Fit, Fueled & Fired Upp could be your answer! This 14-week Healthy Lifestyle Blueprint will carry you right into Labor Day. So, Sign Up Today!