Summer fun often equals summer splurges. But here’s how to keep things under control.
Many of our favorite summer activities revolve around food. Trips to the beach, ballpark, street fairs or the local ice cream stand often entice us to indulge in foods that aren’t exactly considered healthy.
Whether you can’t imagine a ball game without a hot dog or use beach days as an excuse to eat funnel cakes or your favorite fill-in-the-blank summer treat, you may be wondering if your carefree attitude is sabotaging your diet over the long-term.
The fact is that if you eat healthy most of the time, it’s okay to enjoy a splurge once in a while. Of course, there are some foods you should avoid if you have specific medical conditions, but the key to healthy eating is balance and moderation.
If you want to indulge on occasion, go ahead. Just be mindful of what and how much you’re eating. Then get right back on track. But if you prefer to make healthier food choices while enjoying your favorite summer pastimes, here are some tips:
“The key to remember when you splurge on “treat foods” is to try to eat healthy the rest of the day. You should watch portion sizes and remember to exercise regularly both for your health and to help burn off excess calories. As long as your normal diet is full of healthy foods such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and lean meats, then one occasional splurge should not sabotage your diet. However, you do want to make sure that these foods do not become an everyday indulgence.”
At the Beach
The beach is the perfect place to bring your own cooler full of healthy snacks. Pack sandwiches, cut veggies, refreshing fruit and plenty of bottled water to keep you hydrated. Want a funnel cake, cotton candy or pizza? Make your treat count and stick to a small portion.
At a Street Fair
Food is often the highlight of summer fairs. But before you start indulging in one treat after another, survey the options and select one thing you just “have to have.” Then spend the rest of the afternoon getting some steps in while you enjoy the sights.
At the Ballpark
While a hotdog and fries seems like the perfect ball game meal, most ballparks have plenty of other food options these days. Eat a meal before you go (you’ll save money) and if you still want ballpark fare, opt for a small bag of peanuts or popcorn (hold the butter!).
At the Ice Cream Shop
We get it – you can’t go to the ice cream shop and order fruit. But you can choose the smallest size and savor the flavor. If you get a cone, choose a sugar or wafer cone instead of a waffle cone. And don’t load up on toppings.
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Date Last Reviewed: May 17, 2019
Editorial Review: Andrea Cohen, Editorial Director, Baldwin Publishing, Inc. Contact Editor
Medical Review: Nora Minno, RD, CDN