Summer Fun Healthy Eating Tips
Enjoy every outing with treats that won’t go to your gut.
Learn which summertime treats are the biggest calorie culprits
It’s hard to enjoy a summer excursion without being bombarded by high-cal, fatty foods and humongous portions at every turn. Making matters worse, if you find yourself catching a whiff of funnel cakes on an empty stomach, the temptation to get a plateful might be more than your weight-loss resolve can handle.
We asked nutrition experts to share their know-how and take the guesswork out of the calorie counts of common foods you’ll find at popular summer events. Find out what they suggested you steer clear of—and better-for-you options—to maximize fun without hurting your waistline.
1. The Ballpark
Bathing Suit Bomber: Jumbo Dogs and Large Beers
You don’t have to get the super-sized foot-long, jumbo dog or the largest cup of beer, says David Grotto, RD, a former spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association and founder of Nutrition Housecall, a nutrition-consulting firm.
“A jumbo beef hot dog (larger than a foot-long) can contain about a half-pound of meat per dog!” says Grotto. That clocks in at around 750 calories and 68 grams of fat depending on the brand (and that doesn’t even include the roll!) Washing that dog down with a tall 16 oz. regular beer will set you back about 200 more calories.
Better Pick: Regular Hot Dogs and Light Beer
Grotto says enjoying a regular-sized hot dog (5 to 6 inches) and a small beer are fine. A regular dog on the bun with ketchup, relish and mustard comes in at around 280 calories. Pair it with a 12 oz. light brew for another 100 to 120 calories.
Just make sure you don’t overload the dog with high-cal toppings. “It’s the chili and cheese layered on top,” says David Kessler, MD, author of The End of Overeating (Rodale, 2009). “That’s when 300 or 400 calories turns into 1,500. The best trick is to have a plan. Know what you’re going to eat and when you’re going to eat.”
2. Outdoor Concert
Bathing Suit Bomber: Frozen Cocktails
What’s often popular at these venues are “frozen everything” drinks, says Grotto. They can be fairly high in calories mostly because of the volume. A large frozen margarita can set you back 900 calories! Not to mention the fact that so much alcohol lowers inhibitions, and you start having a “Who cares?” mentality when deciding what to eat.
Better Pick: Mojitos
This refreshing drink has about 170 to 230 calories and is usually made with light rum, lime or lemon juice, club soda, sugar, and fresh mint leaves. Choose the smallest size to save calories and keep from getting inebriated. If you are truly craving a margarita, order a small one on the rocks for a calorie range of 250 to 500 depending on the size. Remember, if you’re thirsty and outside at an all-day concert, alcohol is the most dehydrating beverage you could have, says Grotto. Drink plenty of water to keep from getting parched.
Continue reading this article at Prevention.com after the break!