This article was written by Dylan Foster, writer at healthwellwise.com. He enjoys writing about topics related to how our homes affect our health and happiness. When he isn’t writing for the website, he works as an office assistant and enjoys hiking local trails with his dog, Samson.
Food is fun to eat no matter what the season, but when it’s summertime, it’s easy for you and your family to go overboard, especially when you’re invited to a neighborhood cookout or go on a cruise where the buffet is open 24/7. When the days grow longer and the temperature rises, there’s nothing like noshing on hot dogs, potato chips, ice cream and apple pie. So how can you enjoy the summer without packing on the pounds? Read on to learn how you can choose foods that won’t destroy your healthy lifestyle.
Bring a Dish…or Two
If you’re invited to a summer picnic or cookout, put your chef’s hat on and whip up some healthy foods to bring to the shindig. Your host will be oh-so-grateful for the extra dishes you contribute. And you’ll know that you have at least one healthy dish you can eat so you don’t load up on the fattening stuff gracing the picnic table.
Eat Your Leafy Greens and Veggies
Before you sample those barbecue ribs and potato salad, load up on some leafy greens. Eat a salad made with fresh veggies. Pour a light vinaigrette dressing over it instead of heavy dressings that are full of fat. Munch on carrot sticks, green beans, zucchini and other good-for-you vegetables. Veggies are tasty, filling and won’t pack on the pounds!
Kinds of Meat
You don’t have to eat like a vegetarian in order to avoid unhealthy foods. Get your protein by eating grilled poultry and fish. If your heart is set on red meat, go ahead and indulge. Just make sure you choose lean meats like sirloin steak. According to Good Housekeeping, “Sirloin steak is both lean and flavorful.” Eating just 3 ounces of sirloin steak provides you with 25 grams of protein. And food containing protein gives you all the amino acids your body requires to stay healthy.
It’s OK to Cheat a Little!
If you deprive yourself of what you want all of the time, you’ll just end up miserable and mad at the world, so it’s OK to cheat a bit. NBC News states that it’s perfectly fine to eat “French toast at brunch, but then steer yourself toward a luscious seasonal salad at your next meal.” Whatever you do, avoid indulging in decadent foods all day long. Just choose that one thing that you truly craveand then eat it. Afterward, climb back onto the healthy-eating wagon.
Mental Health Benefits of Eating Healthy
When you feed your body healthy foods, you enjoy a bunch of mental health benefits. Following a healthy diet makes it less likely for you to suffer from anxiety and depression. And when you eat fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains and other nutritious foods, you’ll feel happier and more optimistic. In fact, the way we eat, drink, cope with stress and cultivate relationships plays a huge part in the state of our mental health.
Summer is the season of lazy days by the pool, fun-filled vacations and food. Plenty of food! And if you’re not careful, you can easily indulge too much. Juicy steaks, yummy ice cream, gooey desserts and other delectable treats are hard to resist at the Fourth of July picnic or the backyard cookout. But if you stick with vegetables, lean meats, poultry and fish and allow yourself to cheat once in a while, you and the family can still enjoy summer while keeping your bodies healthy and strong.