Updated: Jul 28, 2020
Written by Madison Noom - Wellness Intern
During the hot summer months, the options for unhealthy temptations seem endless. Ice cream and frozen treats seem to be the best option to cool you down, grocery store isles are filled with packaged snacks, and the kids keep asking for sugary drinks like lemonade and soda. With these options so abundant, it’s hard to see the vegetables and lean protein through the curtain of summer treats that seems to be surrounding you everywhere you look. However, to prevent weight cycling, which occurs most in the summer months, it is just as important to maintain a healthy weight as it was to lose the extra pounds in the first place. One trick many people find helpful when keeping healthy habits is focusing on making substitutions, one step at a time. Think about the meals and snacks you eat throughout the summer day. Do you have lemonade or soda by the pool? Was your afternoon snack an easy-to-grab bag of chips? Did you wash that big, juicy hamburger down with a double scoop at your favorite ice cream place? Making substitutions, without completely cutting out foods you love, will help you keep your calorie count down while enjoying treats in moderation. Instead of the sugary summer drinks, maybe switch those out for lemon or other fruits in ice water, as well as switching the packaged snacks to sliced cucumbers, bell peppers, or berries. For dinner, decrease the size of your burger and switch from that fatty 80/20 beef to a leaner beef. Finding healthy foods you enjoy and decreasing portion sizes of those not-so-healthy foods will allow you to maintain your weight and healthy habits without feeling deprived. This is also a chance to use your creativity. Experiment with different healthy recipes for meals and desserts to find what works best for you and your family. Healthy substitutions for meals like pizza, burgers, and other summer classics are a great way to enjoy food, maintain a healthy weight and keep up those healthy habits throughout the summer!