SENSIBLE SUMMER EATING
Personal trainer Lauren Aizen shares her tips on keeping trim while enjoying summer dining
What’s not to love about summer? It’s the season of relaxing holidays, sunbathing (please use sun cream!) and endless margaritas. And despite all the lounging and occasional overindulgence in umbrella-clad drinks, summer may be the time of year you find it easiest to achieve your weight-loss goals.
Yes ice-cream is be the unofficial food of summer, but overall you may find that you’re less prone to cupboard raids in the warmer months. Why? The heat should slow down your appetite and reduce your desire to eat— even after you’ve done a tough workout.
Women consider wearing a bikini a bigger threat to their confidence than baring all in the bedroom, according to a recent study. Slipping into your bathing suit — and then, you know, actually wearing it on the beach — can equal serious motivation to slim down.
But summer foods can do just as much damage as winter foods. Refreshing beverages and sunny salads often contain surprisingly high amounts of fat and calories. Here are my tips for what to eat when you want to dine al fresco in the sun or you crave something cool.
In addition to having a high water and fibre content, cherries also have anti-inflammatory effects that help with weight loss. As an added bonus, they are high in antioxidants and are linked to improved sleep, which should also help regulate your weight loss.
Best in the late summer months, tomatoes contain a lot of water, which helps stave off dehydration-related hunger. These are also super-high in potassium, which is great for balancing a diet higher in sodium. This is especially key, since potassium can help you beat bloat.
Raspberries pack a powerful weight-loss combo of fibre and water. Raspberries are ripe, readily available, and delicious right now.
When you’re thirsty, a cold glass of lemonade or sweetened iced tea are really tempting. These drinks can be major sugar bombs. Next time you hit Starbucks, Costa or your local coffee shop, order an unsweetened green tea. Research shows that caffeine and antioxidants in the tea may also help rev up your metabolism.
Beware the summer cocktails! Try vodka mixed with Diet Coke or a spritzer and try to eat whole fruit rather than downing a smoothie.
Then there’s the BBQ. A burger topped with cheese contains saturated fat along with high levels of calories and sodium. Avoid the cheese, top the burger with a fresh tomato slice, and have a piece of corn on the cob instead of a processed bun for starch. Alternatively two grilled portobello mushroom can be a great bun substitute. Avoid BBQ sauces – most are packed with sugar and run up to 50 calories a tablespoon. Make your own! Similarly watch those dips!
If you venture out for street food you’ll need to choose wisely to avoid the most fattening items. Stay away from pre-cooked, reheated, frozen, processed, and dried out fried foods that they offer. Many trucks have grills, so ask for grilled chicken, and add a salad with vinaigrette.
Salads can be a great, low-calorie food choice—or a major calorie bomb. Cold, creamy pasta salads may be one of the worst calorie offenders. Load up on salad greens but buy low-fat dressing or, if you make your own, substitute Greek yogurt for the mayo.
And the lure of ice cream/ fro yo? Frozen yogurt has many people fooled into thinking it’s a healthy food but it has lots of added sugar and can have even more calories than ice cream. Stick to a small tub and watch the toppings!
Nothing makes you feel like a child again quite like a frozen treat on a hot summer day. And if you pick the right tub from the freezer aisle, an icy dessert can also satisfy your craving for something sweet and refreshing without derailing your hard-earned weight loss success. Most major supermarket chains offer their own low-fat versions.
Now go out and enjoy the glorious weather – long may it last!
Lauren Aizen offers 20% discount to Restaurant Club cardholders. Click here for details