If you’re trying to lose weight or maintain a healthy body, summer can be a hard time of year. With BBQs, the beach, an ice cream truck on every corner, it can be incredibly tempting to reach for something unhealthy. It’s easy to justify that summer is a chance to celebrate but there are better ways to satisfy your sweet tooth without getting off track of your fitness goals. Here are some simple tips and substitutions for your sweet cravings that will keep you in shape:
1) Drink water!
Sometimes when we are tired or have low energy we reach for sweets or high-carbohydrate snacks for a pick-me-up. This can often mean your body is simply dehydrated. Especially when temperatures are high and days are long, your body could be telling you to add more H2O to your diet. Before you reach for a treat, drink a glass of water first. It will fill you up calorie-free. Bored of water? Try green or herbal iced teas, water with lemon or fresh berries, or seltzer water.
2) Craving chocolate?
Before you reach for a candy bar, look for low-sugar protein bars that you can snack on. They are easy to stash in a bag or desk and will fill you up with protein to curb hunger and satisfy a chocolate craving. Chocolate covered candy more your thing? Try a handful of chocolate covered almonds or pretzels. Also, go for dark chocolate over milk or white chocolate. Dark chocolate has less milk fat and more pure cocoa per serving.
3) Swap Your Latte
As delicious as a blended coffee drink can be, they can contain up to 700 calories. In the mood for a mocha? Try an iced coffee with 1 pump of mocha syrup and non-fat, soy, or almond milk and skip the whipped cream for only 150 calories. Craving caramel? Try the same with 1 pump of caramel syrup or sugar-free vanilla with a dash of cinnamon.
4) Stuck at the Truck?
Instead of an over-processed ice cream treat, try a popsicle made with real fruit or frozen yogurt. Avoid ice-cream snacks that have been wrapped in plastic and go for the soft-serve or frozen yogurt. Soft serve ice cream typically has fewer calories than regular ice cream and frozen yogurt will have probiotics that will aid in digestion. If you’re looking for crunch, top your fro-yo with almonds, shaved coconut, or fresh berries. There are many chains out there that serve frozen greek yogurt for an extra punch of protein. Chocolate, fruit, or coconut sorbets are great alternatives to ice cream and are dairy free and have less fat.
5) Fill Up on Fruit!
Summer is great for fresh fruits. Stock up at your local farmers market and keep your fridge stashed with berries, melon, or citrus fruits. Chilled fruit is a great way to satisfy your sweet tooth, cool off and add fiber to your diet.
6) Party Pleasers
Chilled watermelon, cherries, or strawberries with a little whipped cream will satisfy any group and contain little to no fats. Got a grill? Fire up some sliced peaches, nectarines, pineapple or apricots. These are great on skewers to pass around.
Stay Satisfied, Stay Balanced!