Summer is here! And so is that carefree, breezy, anything goes attitude. But what about your daily 5 am runs? Or that "happy hour" barre class? There's no time to work out when the beach is calling, right? Wrong. Though your priorities may be backyard bbqs and vacation, make some time to take care of yourself. We've asked a few registered dietitians for quick and easy tips to help you keep that healthy glow going all summer long.
Be Mindful of Your Salt Intake
Salty, fried tortilla chips with that margarita? Fresh calamari with a shake of salt with a cerveza? All that snacking (and potlucks and bbqs and parties where you're not doing the cooking) might mean that you're accidentally loading up on salt, which can make you feel bloated and raise your blood pressure. But registered dietician Brigitte Zeitlin says, “we don’t want to remove sodium completely but instead replace it with a healthy and flavorful alternative.” Opt for spicy foods that pack in the flavor without the salt or enjoy all of summer's bounty, fresh fruit and veggies, instead of prepared foods.
Try to Eat Whole Grains
School's out and everyone's on vacation, which means you might be having a lot of family dinners where the arroz y habichuelas are abundant. While you can enjoy white rice once in a while it shouldn’t be a staple in your diet. “Instead choose starches like whole grain bread and quinoa," says Zeitlin. "The lower amount of salt and higher amount of fiber that these guys have will help keep those belly’s flat all bathing suit-season long.” And if you really want to have black beans for dinner, Jennifer Christman, RD, clinical nutrition manager at Medifast, Inc. says, “when choosing beans, soak dried beans or use low-sodium canned varieties. All of these tips can help decrease calorie, sodium, and fat intake for weight loss or prevention of weight gain.”
Consistency is Key
Even if you decide to go on vacation to San Juan or Punta Cana to visit family, nutritionist and RD, Keri Glassman suggests that you stay consistent with your workouts. It may not be fun, but carve out time to work out even if it’s for 30 minutes in the morning before you go out for your fun-filled day. It's easier to stay on schedule than it is to get back on it and once you've made it part of your daily routine, it won't feel like a chore. And maybe you can do some sightseeing on that run.
Incorporate Fruit into Your Diet
Summer is full of fresh fruit and produce, so you may actually find it easier to incorporate suggested servings. Just go for it whenever you see it, says Glassman, from breakfast to dessert. Who needs a chocolate cake when you have fresh, juicy, thick pineapple slices waiting for you?
Try To Eat Every 2-3 Hours
If you take the time to have smaller meals every two to three hours then you’ll be less hungry throughout the day. “Some [people]... may eat only 2-3 times per day without a snack between meals," Christman says. "This can be challenging for some as they may eat more calories at those fewer meal times to compensate.” Try and have a serving of fruit two to three times throughout the day or have four to six smaller meals.
Some days may seem like a lot: you may want to give up and give in to unhealthy habits. “When you feel your motivation waning, take some time to reflect on your goals and why you are on the path to health," Christman says. "Write it down and place your goals in key places that you will see throughout the day for extra motivation.” Staying healthy is a life long process, but with a little motivation from friends and family around you, you’ll be able to accomplish your goals.