Lazy Summer Diet Tips

lazy beach daysSummertime and the dieting is lazy! That's right. The hot, humid days of mid-summer encourage us to take the easy route. And if you think maintaining a healthy diet always has to be a challenge, you'll be happy to learn some of my favorite lazy dieting tips which will help you cut calories effortlessly. These simple suggestions can turn mindless eating into mindless losing. Adopt just a few of them and you'll be amazed how much easier it is to maintain your healthy weight and be that much closer to your healthy goal.

Put your knife and fork own three times during a meal. Most of us eat too fast and our brain doesn't have time to register that we're full, so we keep eating! A simple trick to break out of this pattern is to put your knife and fork completely down. Stop. Take a breath. Join the conversation. You'll eat slower and you'll consume less.

Drink water with your meals. If you're eating in a restaurant, have the goal of three fill-ups in the course of the meal. If you're sipping water, you're not eating; You're getting closer to your daily water intake goal (aim for two liters a day, try getting the first liter in by lunch) and you're filling up on non-cal fluids rather than more fattening things.

Order two appetizers for dinner. This is a great, lazy way to a healthy, low-cal dinner. Skip the heavy entrees and go for two light, tasty appetizers instead. You'll cut calories and you'll keep pace with other diners who might be having an appetizer plus an entree. A couple of good appetizer bets include fresh gazpacho, shrimp cocktail, caprese salad (mozzarella and tomato) or steamed mussels in white wine and garlic.

Wear fitted clothes. This is a great mindless way to keep your eating goals at the top of your 'to-do' list. Nothing says "eat light" like a pair of snug pants and/or a belt. It's a constant reminder that you don't ever want to feel stuffed and that eating light feels right.

Kill your cravings. If you're going out to eat or expect to have a nice dinner at home but you're hungry enough to eat a buffalo, put a lid on your appetite with a pre-dinner nibble. Many of my clients do this routinely and swear it's a lifesaver. Have two fiber crackers and a large drink of water about an hour or so before dinner. You'll be a master of the menu as you order healthy selections and push the bread basket away.

Pop a breath strip. The taste of peppermint, or any mint, kills appetite. So enjoy a breath strip at any time during the day when you want to avoid a snack. If you're headed to an office birthday party, trying to fight late-night cravings or facing a breakfast buffet that's a carb carnival, a breath strip can put the brakes on your mindless indulgence.

Boost antioxidant levels. Besides sunscreen, eat foods that naturally boost antioxidant levels to protect against UV radiation. Some ideas include dark chocolate, green tea and broccoli.

Eat water based foods. A great way to stay hydrated in addition to drinking plenty of water is to eat more water-based foods like watermelon, pineapple and cucumber.

Limit the sweet stuff. One thing is for sure, the summer has a whole lot of temptation! From amusement parks to restaurants and everything else, it can be easy to overload on sweets. Never deprive yourself, but be careful not to overindulge.

That was easy, right? Maintaining our healthy diets can be as simple as adopting some simple strategies that help keep you on track. 

Heather Bauer, RD CDN
Heather Bauer, RD CDN


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