Woman eating a water melon on the beach

In a nutshell, healthy, sensible eating involves taking a look at the way you eat now and then making some common sense changes that eliminate the inevitable bad habits we all pick up over time.

And the good news is that summer is an excellent time for all of this as it is pretty much human nature to want to eat differently once the weather heats up. Can you imagine eating a big bowl of steaming hot stew in the height of summer? No, neither can we, a nice cool salad sounds much better, so you are already off to a great start.

But there are some summer eating pitfalls to avoid if you really want to stick to a sensible eating plan to help enhance the positive effects of your efforts in the gym and with exercise in general

The Soda Situation

Summer in Atlanta gets pretty darn hot. We’re not known as Hotlanta for nothing. So with all of this heat around, it is essential to remain properly hydrated at all times. But the mistake many people make is thinking that glugging down liter after liter of sugary soda is a good way to do that. It’s not. In addition to not always being the best thirst quencher anyway the sugar and calories you are intaking are huge in number. You could eat three salads a day and still derail your sensible diet by accompanying them all with a can of Coke.

Make a conscious effort to stick to water as much as possible. Not only is that saving your body from all that bad stuff but it’s healthy for you, your body and your skin. And if you really can’t stand the monotony of plain water opt for a flavored version occasionally instead (just check the label for hidden calories if you opt for a store bought product)

Watch out for the ‘Hidden Calories’ in ‘Healthy’ Summer Food

You have a lovely green salad in front of you, the perfect summer lunch. But then you add big lashings of dressing, a handful of croûtons and some bacon bits for good measure. And maybe some cheese. And chicken. And more dressing.

As delicious as they may be these salad extras can really up the calorie count of what started out as very sensible eating indeed. Just one serving – a teaspoon maybe – of many of the most popular salad dressings can add 100 or more calories and 6 or 7 grams of fat to your meal. And those croûtons are, after all, just bread in another form and they won’t help either.

This does not mean we are suggesting you eat your salad rabbit style with no adornments at all. Just pay attention to the nutrition information on what you are planning to add to it and make the necessary adjustments to ensure your healthy meal stays that way.

Beware the Barbeque

When the weather is good, a great grilling session is a brilliant idea, but only as long as you watch what it is you are cooking and consuming. Consider making some smart changes to your usual menu for such occasions; swap veggie burgers for the standard ones, or at least stick to very lean meat. Swap pork for chicken. Grill up some vegetables for side dishes instead of putting out bowls of chips. And watch those portion sizes too.

In conclusion sensible summer eating isn’t that hard, and unlike fad diets it’s something you can stick to for good, with a little bit of effort. Combine this with the effort put in on a regular exercise plan and you’ll not only be working towards that summer beach body you want but the winter one will look pretty darn good as well.

     © 2016 The Fitness Center of Lilburn.

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