A lot of us want to look bad and bougie for the summer, but we should also be mindful of the methods we use to get there. Sydney Richards, a local dietitian, has some quick tips on healthy eating for the summer so we can look good and feel good, too! Check out the 3 Food Mistakes to Avoid This Summer!
Mistake #1: You start a fad diet two weeks before vacation.
Don’t: Slash your calories and carbs in half, start exercising incessantly, and step on the scale every hour in a last-ditch attempt to lose a few pounds quickly. It is not possible to lose more than 1 (maybe 2) pounds of fat in a week. If you see a huge drop on the scale, you are most likely losing majority water and some protein (your muscles!) and, if you don’t see a huge drop on the scale, you end up feeling pretty down and defeated.
Do: Adjust your outlook. You may not be able to change how you look in two weeks, but you can buy new clothes that fit your figure so that you can go into vacation feeling confident and enjoy yourself regardless of the number on the scale. Otherwise, you’ll be sacrificing good memories with family and friends that you can’t get back. If you are absolutely set on achieving weight loss before your vacation, develop a realistic nutrition plan with the help of a dietitian several months in advance.
Mistake #2: You drink smoothies as a meal.
Don’t: Dust off your high-tech blender and start making kale and pineapple smoothies with almond milk every morning. You’re going to be missing some essential meal components – namely, enough protein, fat, and calories – that keep you full between meals. For this reason, most people will start to feel hungry again in about an hour or two. The exception to this rule is if you are a light breakfast eater in which case something is better than nothing.
Do: Add a source of protein (such as Greek yogurt or protein powder) and fat (such as avocado or nut butter) to your smoothie. Alternatively, you can pair your smoothie with protein and fat-rich foods such as eggs or peanut butter toast in the morning. My favorite combination is 1 cup of milk, 1 frozen banana, 2 Tbsp peanut butter, and 1 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder – it’s filling and tastes like a milkshake!
Mistake #3: You avoid seasonal fruits because they’re too “sugary.”
Don’t: Skimp on fruits. The benefits of eating them far outweigh the small amount of naturally occurring sugar that they provide. Fruit has healthy nutrients, antioxidants, and fiber and less sugar by volume than foods containing added sugar. For example, half a cup of strawberries has 3.5 grams of sugar whereas half a cup of strawberry ice cream has 15 grams of sugar. For these reasons, there is no recommended limit on naturally occurring sugar.
Do: Eat 1-2 cups or pieces of fruit daily including summer seasonal fruit such as watermelon, peaches, and cherries. Due to their powerful antioxidant content, watermelon could help reduce your risk of certain cancers, peaches could help strengthen your immune system, and cherries could help you recover more quickly from a tough workout when eaten as part of an overall healthy diet.
Sydney is the Registered Dietitian for the Under Armour Performance Centers in Baltimore, MD. She completed her Bachelor’s Degree in Nutrition and Food Science at the University of Maryland and dietetics training at Penn State University where she discovered her passion for nutrition counseling. Sydney professionally utilizes a non-dieting approach to help clients take control of their health and improve their relationship with food. To learn more about her services, go to https://fxstudios.com/nutrition/ or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also follow her on Instagram here!
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