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7 Healthy Summer Eating Tips

Posted on 07/21/2015

The sun is out!  For many, this means cookouts, barbecues and fun in the sun. For others, this means struggling with eating healthy, controlling portions and regular exercise…understandably so since schedules tend to be a little more lax this time of year. But don’t let summertime fun get in the way of your healthy eating commitment.  A little know-how and planning ahead can go a long way in keeping vigilant throughout summer.

Sun Rise

Here are my top tips to keep healthy eating habits in check during summer:

  1. Follow the plate method

    Following the plate method helps to give some general guidance when going through the party buffet. Fill up half your plate with non-starchy vegetables and/or fruit, a quarter of it with a starch like potato salad or a roll, and a quarter of it with lean protein such as a turkey or veggie burger. This method also works for home, so keep it in mind year ‘round.

  2. Bring your own dish to every party

    That way, you know what ingredients you used and can be comforted knowing that it is truly a healthy dish. It’s always a good idea to keep a list of some of your favorite dishes that travel well and you feel comfortable enough cooking to whip them up quickly. Additionally, your hosts and fellow party mates will be grateful for a light and healthy dish to balance out the meal.

  3. Get enough sleep

    Lack of sleep is a huge willpower killer. You’re more likely to overeat, crave foods high in sugar, and not exercise! Make every effort to get 7-8 hours of sleep every night and if that’s not possible, sneak in a nap throughout the day.

  4. Reduce stress with music

    To lighten your daily stress load try listening to soothing music. It can immediately reduce the stress hormone cortisol in your body. Less stress leads to less cortisol - making it easier to avoid weight gain.

  5. Drink lots of water throughout the day

    Drink lots of water. Many times when people think they are hungry, they are actually just thirsty. By drinking lots of water throughout the day, you'll lower the risk of overeating.

  6. Don’t let a couple of bad days turn into a downward spiral

    If you couldn’t stop yourself at the party buffet or dessert table, it’s okay. Try not to let the guilt fester and maybe add some exercise to your routine after indulging. It’s a great time for a long walk or hike. And always remember that the next day is a new day. Don’t let it be a reason to continue indulging in unhealthy habits.

  7. Don’t skip breakfast!

    As anyone who's tried to eat sensibly knows, starving yourself now will just have you eating much more, later. To combat the urge to fill your plate over and over again, make sure to eat breakfast every morning. Choose a sensible breakfast with protein and fiber so you're not too ravenous by the time lunch or dinner rolls around.

Are you worried about summer's eating temptations and need a plan in place to keep you on track? Check out Seattle Sutton's fresh weekly menus, filled with great summer foods like Turkey Sliders, Balsamic Glazed Chicken, Chicken Salad Sandwichs with a Twist, and much more! We also have Vegetarian menus! So, what are you waiting for?

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Rene Ficek, RDN, CDE

Grew up in the food industry and took that love of healthy eating to earn her degree in nutrition. She has worked as a registered dietitian for 6 years and has been with SSHE since 2013, providing nutrition analysis and meal planning. Her special interests in weight management and diabetes, helps patients manage their weight and health conditions. She enjoys an active lifestyle, as well as time in the kitchen. Rene’s favorite SSHE meal is the Thai Noodle Salad.

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