It’s summer which, for most of us, means the time of year when we feel the need to eat a little bit more healthily and move our bodies that little bit more in order to look and, importantly, feel our very best whilst revealing that little bit more skin. Yet, ironically, summer is also the time when we often indulge in foods that are high in empty calories and treats which serve to sabotage our best efforts at eating healthily. In this blog I wanted to explore some healthier alternatives to some of our favorite summer foods that taste just as good but are better for our health and waistline.
Chips are empty calories, and, depending upon how they’re cooked, may also be a source of the dreaded trans fats. At around 200 calories per bag they’re an easy way to put on weight.
Swap: Instead of grabbing a bag of potato chips try reaching for something like Kale chips, Veggie chips, Soy chips or Baked Pita chips, which have about 70 calories and 1.5 grams of fat per serving. A serving of kale will provide your daily recommended requirement of both vitamin A and C as well as a healthy dose of calcium and folate
Ice cream is definitely a firm summer favorite but it can often be a very high fat and high sugar option.
Swap: Frozen yogurt. Frozen yogurt shops are everywhere now and provide an excellent alternative. It’s lower in calories, fat and sugar and often contains the good bacteria that help the gut work properly. If you’re given the option, add some raw nuts and fresh fruit to the top for a healthy, filling, summer treat!
Getting through summer without a flame-grilled burger topped with melted cheese can be near impossible. However, cheeseburgers that are not made with lean beef (as most aren't) will have about 510 calories and 26 grams of fat. The cheese alone adds about 100 calories and 6 grams of fat.
Swap: Switch up your summertime protein with chicken or shrimp kabobs and a colorful array of roasted vegetables for a enjoyable, vitamin-packed option. Even better, swap the beef in your burger out for a salmon filet, tuna steak or portabella mushroom. Stuck on beef? Try flank steak, a leaner cut of meat that’ll satisfy your craving without bogging you down.
Frozen margaritas pack about 583 calories and 1.2 grams of fat in that delicious sweet cocktail glass.
Swap: Instead of drinking a quarter of your day's worth of calories, opt for a refreshing wine spritzer or light beer, which only have about 100 calories and almost no fat.
Sauces and Dressings
Skip sugary sauces. To cut down on calories, skip store-bought sauces that contain a ton of sugar.
Swap: Try a combination of olive oil, fresh lemon juice, herbs and black pepper for a marinade that’s full of zest. If you’re missing that traditional sweet, tangy flavor, try swapping out lemon for pineapple or orange juice. For dressings try a combination of olive oil and balsamic vinaigrette.
These are just a few simple substitutions you can make for all those tempting summer treats and still enjoy your summer!