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Simple Summer Weight Loss Tips

Simple Summer Weight Loss Tips Deborah EnosLast week, I was sitting outside with my hubby just chatting and enjoying the sunshine. If you’ve ever done that, you probably know where I’m going with this… Time flies when you’re having fun! By the time we sat down for dinner, it was already 8:30 pm.

As someone who has struggled with her weight (as has my husband), I know that we can’t eat dinner at 8:30, go to bed at 9:30, and not gain weight.  Researchers at Northwestern University actually completed a study several years ago that suggested it’s not how much you eat, it’s when you eat that causes weight gain.

Here are the top four summer weight gain traps:

1.Long summer days. The sun can be deceiving and next thing you know you’re eating dinner when you should already be sleeping.

  • Quick fix: Bring a substantial snack to work with you and eat it right before leaving, around 5pm or so. Make sure the snack is at least 300 calories and it has protein and fiber. Try half a peanut butter sandwich and a piece of fruit or mixed veggies and hummus.

2. Summer BBQ’s. Be honest now, how many times have you gone to a summer BBQ and didn’t have a cocktail? Did you notice more food on your plate, extra munching while chatting with friends or things on your plate you wouldn’t normally eat? It happens to the best of us! When you drink alcohol, you will eat, on average, about 30% more calories than you normally would.

  • Quick fix: Eat a snack with fiber and protein before party time. I like an apple and a handful of almonds or a hardboiled egg and whole grain crackers. Why protein? The protein helps to give a base to your stomach, which should prevent the alcohol from hitting your system too hard.

 3. Lack of summer discipline! It’s true. Many of my clients are very disciplined about their workouts in the dead of winter, but come summer, they want to stay out of the gym.

  • Quick fix: Set a summer fitness goal: maybe a 5k in August or a mini-triathlon. If all else fails, get a pedometer and shoot for 10,000 steps/day, schedule a nightly walk with a friend or just plan to walk the dog just a little further.

4. Go to party food: Think of the food you’d typically buy for a picnic or summer party. Pictures of hot dogs, hamburgers and potato salad filling your mind? Where’s all the veggies!? Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered.

  • Quick fix:Here are some healthy party food recipes you can use for Labor Day or any other summer BBQ you’re planning (and save them for Memorial Day and July 4th next year!)

Country Potato Salad

Ingredients:

2 pounds small potatoes, preferably heirloom

1 cup chopped celery

2 ounces smoked ham, sliced into strips

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives, or scallions

2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint, or dill

3/4 cup nonfat buttermilk

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 tablespoon peanut or canola oil

1/2 teaspoon salt

Freshly ground pepper, to taste

2 large hard-boiled eggs, (see Tip), peeled and coarsely chopped

Preparation

1. Place potatoes in a large saucepan, cover with water and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium and cook, partially covered, until just tender, 12 to 20 minutes, depending on their size. Drain and let cool for about 15 minutes.

2. When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, taste a bit of potato skin—if it’s bitter or tough, peel the potatoes. Otherwise, leave the skins on. Cut the potatoes into bite-size pieces and put them in a large salad bowl.

3. Add celery, ham, parsley, chives (or scallions) and mint (or dill) to the potatoes. Toss to combine. Add buttermilk, lemon juice, oil, salt and pepper; stir to combine. Gently stir in chopped egg. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

Mexican Coleslaw

Ingredients

6 cups very thinly sliced green cabbage, (about 1/2 head) (see Tip)

1 1/2 cups peeled and grated carrots, (2-3 medium)

1/3 cup chopped cilantro

1/4 cup rice vinegar

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 teaspoon salt

Preparation

1. Place cabbage and carrots in a colander; rinse thoroughly with cold water to crisp. Let drain for 5 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, whisk cilantro, vinegar, oil and salt in a large bowl. Add cabbage and carrots; toss well to coat.

Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day. Toss again to refresh just before serving.

Tip: To make this coleslaw even faster, use a coleslaw mix containing cabbage and carrots from the produce section of the supermarket.

Three Bean Salad

Ingredients

3 tablespoons cider vinegar

3 tablespoons rice vinegar

1 tablespoon sugar

1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard

1 tablespoon canola oil

1/2 teaspoon salt

Freshly ground pepper , to taste

1/3 cup diced red onion

1 15-ounce can black-eyed peas , or chickpeas, rinsed

1 10-ounce package frozen baby lima beans , or shelled edamame

1 pound green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Preparation

1. Put a large saucepan of water on to boil. Fill a large bowl half full with ice water and place next to the stove.

2. Meanwhile, whisk cider vinegar, rice vinegar, sugar, mustard, oil, salt and pepper in a large bowl until blended. Add onion and black-eyed peas (or chickpeas); toss to coat.

3. Cook lima beans (or edamame) in the boiling water until tender, about 5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and refresh in the ice water. Pat dry and add to the bowl.

4. Cook green beans in the boiling water until just tender, 3 to 6 minutes. Drain and refresh in the ice water. Pat dry and add to the salad along with parsley; toss well.

** Recipes from EatingWell.com

 

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