According to recent research, children gain weight two or three times faster during summer vacation than during the school year. It’s not just children that put on weight in the summer, adults are just as guilty of overindulgence. Despite what you may have heard, it’s actually not true that people exercise more and eat healthier in the summer. A steady diet of junk food and increasingly sedentary lifestyles are typically the culprits of unwanted weight gain and with a season full of BBQs, vacations, and parties, it’s easy to be tempted by food like hot dogs, ice cream and burgers.
Here is a quick guide of foods to avoid and good substitutions.
Foods to Avoid:
1. Hot Dogs. Processed meats, like hot dogs, have been connected to colorectal cancer and possibly stomach cancer. These meats include anything that has been cured, salted or smoked. Consider this: the World Health Organization classifies processed meats in the same category as tobacco and asbestos.
Instead, try: Grass-fed burgers.
2. Daiquiris. Daiquiris may seem refreshing and fruit-based, but in actuality they can have more calories than a cheeseburger. There are plenty of healthier drinks to enjoy poolside, with or without alcohol.
Instead, try: Vodka and club soda.
3. Lobster rolls. The additional ingredients for this crowd pleaser: mayonnaise and buttered white bread. Yes – all empty calories and fat…
Instead, try: Grilled filet of fish. For an extra kick of flavor, top with a homemade mango salsa.
4. Cotton candy. This favorite ballpark and state fair food is entirely sugar. At 220 calories a serving, you’ll need to walk an extra hour to burn it off.
Instead, try: Watermelon. This sweet, cool refreshing fruit is 90 percent water, so it’ll hydrate you on the warmest days. It’s also an excellent source of cancer fighting lycopene. Even better: it’s only 44 calories a cup.
5. Onion rings. It’s okay to split a few of these with a friend, but don’t make it your side item. Since they’re breaded and deep-fried, they’re over 50% fat.
Instead, try: Grilled corn. This vegetable is great in the summer – crisp and sweet. Just be sure not to overdo it on the butter!
6. Ice Cream Sandwich. We know, there’s nothing that screams summer more than an ice cream on a hot day AND in between two cookies, it can’t be beat! Unfortunately, the cookies and ice cream pack a whopping 500+ calories and over 50% saturated fat.
Instead, try: Low fat sorbet in a cone.
7. Fried chicken. It’s a picnic staple and so tasty. However, one four ounce serving contains 400 calories.
Instead, try: Grilled chicken kabobs.