4 Tips for Eating Healthy This Summer

by kellylavieri on June 17, 2015

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With all of the seasonal produce and greenery that summer brings, it’s easy to eat healthy during the hot months, right? Hot weather may bring farmer’s markets and blooming gardens, but it also brings cookouts, wedding, vacations, and busy outings—in short, while summer seems like the perfect time to load our plates with fresh fruits and veggies, many of us find ourselves indulging in one too many unhealthy meals or using special events like cruises and weddings to let our diets go. Pretty soon, one “cheat day” turns into a week or a month, and before we know it our clothes feel snug and our swimsuit suddenly seems less flattering. Fortunately, with a little awareness and planning ahead it’s easy to stick to a healthy diet—even on vacation! Here are 4 tips for eating healthy this summer.

1. Fruits & Veggies First
At cookouts and buffet-style events offering full spreads, fill your plate with fruits and veggies first—not meats and starches. Eating a full serving of fruits or veggies first will hydrate you, fill your stomach, and kick-start your digestion with a fiber boost so that you won’t indulge as heavily in the fatty, carb-heavy offerings as you would if you started off with a hot dog. You will probably find, after a few slices of watermelon or a salad, that your potato salad craving has diminished.

2. Use the Half-Plate Rule
When cooking at home or eating out, make sure at least half your plate is vegetables. Ideally, you’ll fill your plate with a serving of lean protein one to two sides of vegetables, avoiding starches and carbohydrates all together, but if you must choose a carbohydrate, pick whole foods and grains like brown rice, a baked sweet potato, or corn on the cob.

3. Indulge When You Must—But Start Small
If you feel like a party pooper turning down a gorgeous, decadent piece of wedding cake or a slice of homemade peach pie, go ahead and indulge—but start off with a small serving. According to the rule of utility value (when applied to food), the first bite we take of a tasty food is the most enjoyable and the one we feel most satiated by. Keep this in mind as you savor your small serving of dessert. You’ll probably find that you don’t really need or want a serving twice the size of the one you took.

4. Stay Hydrated
Often a craving for something sweet between meals—or when you have just eaten and know your body doesn’t need any more calories for a few hours—can be diminished by downing a glass of cold water. Snacking on foods with higher water content between meals—like watermelon, berries, and vegetables—also helps curb junk food cravings.

What’s your favorite healthy summer food?

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