Summer Sabotage

Try these tactics and keep the "light" season from getting heavy.
Published July 6, 2016

Appetite tends to decrease as the temperature rises, so losing weight this summer should be no problem, right? Not necessarily. Unfortunately, barbecues, weddings, visits and vacations, this time of year can actually be a weight-loss minefield.

Food is often the focus of our summer entertaining, and it's easy to lose sight of how much you're consuming. When you're at a party, before you pick up a plate, scan your options, suggests Susie Klein, MS, RD. "Think about what you really want, then get a plate and follow through on those choices."

Size does matter, so keep portion control in mind, says Ellie Krieger, MS, RD. And while you may be tempted to take a vacation from sensible eating while you're enjoying time off, Krieger advises that you merely loosen up rather than abandon your diet plan altogether. "When you're on vacation, allow yourself a little treat." Here are five more strategies for staying on track all season.

When invited for to a barbecue or picnic, contribute a chopped vegetable salad or some other healthful dish. That way you'll know there's at least one item on the menu that's tasty, filling, and low in calories.

Sit down
Rather than grazing throughout the party, get a plate, take small amounts of the food you want, sit down and enjoy it. Calories mount up, one nibble at a time, when you're hanging out at the buffet table mindlessly eating as much finger food as you want.

Get moving
After eating, leave the table — and the temptation — and do something active. Take a walk on the beach, play catch with the kids, start a volleyball or softball game, toss a Frisbee or football. Take the focus off food while you burn away your meal.

Quench with care
On a hot day it's easy to down glass after glass of lemonade or punch, but unless you've made it yourself and know for sure, be aware that it's probably loaded with sugar. Summer favourites such as smoothies and frozen margaritas can also be highly caloric. The best way to quench your thirst is with water. Make it flavourful by adding slices of orange, lemon or lime.

Treat yourself
Delectable doesn't have to be decadent. Indulge with lobster (hold the butter) and other fresh seafood. Corn grilled in the husk is flavourful without added calories from butter. And it wouldn't be summer without watermelon. It's sweet, fun to eat, loaded with nutrients and low in calories.