6 Nutrition Habits That Can Get You Fit For Fall
Memorial Day is long-passed and the Fourth of July is in our rearview mirror, which means summer is in full swing in New England. With the temperatures skyrocketing and the celebratory cheeseburgers, hot dogs and pies behind us, now is a great time to recommit yourself to a nutrition plan that’ll help energize your summer and keep you feeling fit into fall. Whether you’re looking to lose weight or just looking to establish healthier habits, changing the way you eat can seem like a lofty task. We’ve compiled these six simple and effective tips for a healthier summer
1) Planning is everything. Between summer vacations and barbeques, it can be hard to commit to nutrition goals. In order maintain consistency in your diet, outline a plan of action. The simple act of writing down your goals, objectives and actionable items can help you stick to your guns. One important element is identifying foods you want to avoid and those you need more of in your diet, and then collecting recipes online that work within these boundaries (we recommend SkinnyTaste – the recipes are diverse and delicious!). This will help with shopping and meal preparation, while also expanding your options for what’s possible within your new diet. While it may be tempting to go cold turkey on junk food, dessert, and soda, it’s important to be realistic when setting your goals. Don’t be afraid to allot cheat days so that you can still enjoy your share of delicious food this summer.
2) Hydrate…and then hydrate some more. If you’re looking to round out your diet and live healthier, increasing your water intake is essential. According to health professionals, the average adult should drink at least 64 fluid ounces of water per day – that’s half a gallon! An easy way to increase your water intake is to buy a marked water bottle like this Nalgene bottle that holds 32 oz. You can also drink more tea and eat fruits with high water content like watermelon and pineapple.
3) Watch out for hidden sugars. Sugar can be a big factor in weight gain, and added sugar may be hiding where you least expect it. While processed foods like granola bars may be a convenient choice when you’re on the go, you may be shocked by their high sugar content. Many popular granola bar brands contain twice as much sugar as a chocolate bar! Instead, try these easy homemade granola bars, which are sweetened with honey. Always be mindful of the nutrition label, ingredients, and portion size when choosing snacks, and try to keep it fresh and homemade when possible.
4) Cut the carbonation (at least the sweet kind). One of the easiest and most effective changes you can make in your diet is cutting out soda. Even if you only order soda when you go out to eat, opting for water or unsweetened seltzer is a simple and rewarding decision. One 20 ounce bottle of Coke will set you back 240 calories and a whopping 65g of sugar, which is more than five times the daily sugar intake recommended by the FDA. If you’re an avid soda drinker, quitting soda will make a huge difference.
5) Always be (meal) prepared. Preparing your meals for the week ahead will help you eat healthy foods and mindful portions, not to mention saving you time and money! Even if you only prep for one meal a day, it’ll make a big difference and help you stay on track with your nutrition goals. For an easy breakfast, you can pre-make smoothies and freeze them in ice cube trays. When you’re ready for breakfast, just toss a handful of cubes into the blender with some juice or almond milk. For lunches, you can add variety to a week’s worth of grilled chicken and roasted veggies by mixing up a number of different sauces, like hearty lemon tahini or this easy and delicious yogurt caesar dressing.
6) Pack a cooler. If you’re heading to the beach or on vacation, it can be tempting to default back to fast food or snacks. Instead, set out with a well-stocked cooler filled with cold water, fruit, pre-portioned snacks and/or homemade meals. You’ll save money and ensure that you stay on track with healthy eating.
For additional help establishing a nutrition plan, our in-house nutritional coach, Kristin Ludwig, RD, CD-N, CPT is here to help. For more information about our fitness and nutrition programs, including our F.L.A.G. (Food & Lifestyle Accountability Group), click here.