Tips for a Healthy Summer

Articles
June 01, 2016

Tips for a Healthy Summer

Summer is upon us, and for many this season motivates us to get fit and healthy. Here are some great tips for getting healthy this summer and keeping it going year round.

Summer is upon us, and for many this season motivates us to get fit and healthy. Here are some great tips for getting healthy this summer and keeping it going year round.

Focus on real food!
Choose minimally processed, whole foods like whole grains, choose whole wheat, steel cut oats, brown rice, quinoa and others. Fresh produce is plentiful- so take advantage! Choose a colorful variety of vegetables and shift your focus from starchy veggies like potatoes to more leafy and crunchy veggies like kale and broccoli. Fruit is also a sweet choice, packed with vitamins, minerals, and other plant compounds you should focus on whole fruits and save fruit juices for a treat. Nuts, seeds, beans, and other healthful sources of protein like cold water fish and quality poultry add much needed fats, fiber and of course vitamins and minerals. Use olive oil, quality butter, and coconut oil if cooking oils are needed – focus on healthy fats in foods like olives, avocados, hemp and other seeds to add staying power to meals.

Sleep is key!
Yes there are not enough hours in the day to do everything we want to do but if you are battling the bulge or trying to maintain your current weight, sleeping that extra hour rather than working out can get you there faster. Sleeping less than five or six hours a night, can slow your metabolism and cause hormonal changes that hurt your weight-loss efforts. According to Harvard School of Public Health sleeping at least 7 to 8 hours for adults is a must. Add exercise during the day – take the stairs instead of elevator, park further from the store and stand when on the phone can all add a bit of movement to a sedentary lifestyle.

Eating healthy?
That doesn’t mean you can forget portion size. Sure we can eat a lot more veggies to fill up, but watch the dressings, sauces, and other toppings that add unnecessary calories. Switching from white bread to whole wheat, eating nuts instead of chips are healthier substitutions, but they still contain a significant amount of calories, so portion control is still key.

Stay hydrated with water.
Swapping water for sugary sweetened beverages, including juice can lighten your caloric load significantly and dehydration can sometimes be mistaken for hunger. Studies have shown that drinking water or being properly hydrated before eating can reduce your caloric intake. Aim for ½ cup water every hour you are awake.

Don’t skip meals or shun snacking.
Breakfast is a must and many skip breakfast for a variety of reasons - skipping breakfast usually backfires when hunger comes raging back mid-day, often leading to overeating, according to the Harvard School of Public Health. The literature suggests that people who eat breakfast tend to have healthier weights. The same is true for snacking – but make sure you are having balanced snacks – some plain yogurt with a banana, celery and almond butter, or an apple with a small handful of walnuts will all do the trick.

Get motivated for summer and keep it up year round!