Healthy Eating Habits to Stay Naturally Cool this Summer!

 

There’s no better motivation than the swimsuit season to get your body in shape for the beach!

Summer weekends at the beach, backyard barbecues, cold beers, outdoor dinners and frozen deserts are finally here!

Don’t let the temperature get you down, enjoy your warm weather favorites while keeping your nutrition in check by combining the right foods and beverages with your workouts.

 

  • Drink More Water: The summer heat makes you more susceptible to dehydration. When you are sweating a lot, drinking water helps maintain the body’s water levels and maintain the body temperature. As the Center of Disease Control and Prevention in the U.S suggests, think of your body like an air conditioner:

“Whenever your body heats up from physical activity or the hot weather outside, your internal air conditioner turns on and you begin to sweat. And remember, now that your air conditioner is using its coolant (your sweat), it is important to refill the tank, by drinking lots of H2O and stay away from drinks that have caffeine like sodas or teas that may dehydrate you even more”!!!

 

  • Don’t Skip Breakfast: Eating a breakfast with protein, carbs, and healthy fat kicks your metabolism into high gear and provides energy for the day.

 

  • Enjoy Summer Fruits and Veggies: Summer is the perfect time to change to a fresh food diet. Including a mix of seasonal colorful veggies in your meals provides your body with plenty of nutrients. Many fruits and vegetables, such as watermelon and cucumber are rich in water and help us increase the fluid intake that cools our body down. In addition, melons, apricots, grapes, pineapples, peaches, apples, zucchini, asparagus, green beans, broccoli, and leafy greens are also considered good choices.

  • Remember that foods high in water content promote satiety. Most fruits and vegetables are 80- 95% water!

  • Choose fresh fruits over dried ones: They contain more water and more volume, so they are more filling.

  • Choose Fresh Seafood: Summer is the ideal time to get the freshest catch from your local grocer. Grill salmon, tuna, lobster, steamer clams, and calamari for a low-calorie, protein-packed lunch or dinner.

 

  • Snacks: Snacks are just as important as your meals. Schedule them and be sure they include some protein.

 When you snack in between meals, you are far less likely to overeat and more likely to stay energized.

 

  • Downsize your Dinnerware:  A study in Cornell University found that by switching from 12 to10-inch plates anyone can reduce calorie consumption by 20-22 % and lose nearly two pounds per month. And that’s without changing any other aspect of your diet!

 

  • Exercise Comfortably, Even in the Heat:

Just because it’s hot out doesn’t mean you have to stop exercising. Beat the heat with an early morning activity. Go for a walk or bike ride while watching the sun come up.

 You can also switch to water sports and exercise in short bursts. Pre-cooling techniques can also prevent you from overheating when you work out in hot weather.

  • After exercising, you can blend your favorite summer fruits with low fat milk or yogurt help your body recover from training, and boost your energy levels.

 

  • Get Plenty of Sleep: It is easier to overeat when you are tired.

 

Here are more tips to keep you cool:

  1. Avoid foods that heat you up. When the body is already hot the last thing you need is to heat it up with spicy food.

  2. Favor foods that cool you down such as:

-Coconut Water: The drink is so rich and full of nutrients; it definitely is a must-have for summers. Also, the water is so packed with nutrients, it is perfect for summers as it replenishes all the nutrients your body loses after sweating. It is the best ever natural energy drink! Drink coconut water whenever you want but make sure to always drink it fresh!

-Ice Candies/Popsicles: Made of plain water and flavor, they are a fun way to beat the summer heat. You can also make them at home by simply squeezing some fresh fruit juice and freezing them.

-Herbs:

  • You can add mint to a variety of foods to make you feel fresh.

  • Sour herbs and foods such as lemon balm, rose hips, hibiscus, and sour fruits (lemon, lime, blueberry, etc.) have a cooling effect on the body. It’s interesting that different systems of healing view the sour taste differently since in Greek medicine sour is considered cooling, while in Ayurveda it is considered warming; but in normal food quantities, sour can be considered cooling (Wood et al., 2015).  

  • Astringent herbs like rose petals, raspberry leaf are also cooling and drying to the body, helping to offset heat and humidity.

 

In summary, don’t forget to always carry a bottle of water with you to stay hydrated, fuel your summer with nutrient-rich foods and add color, variety, and flavor to your meals with fruits and vegetables fresh from your local grocery or farmers’ market… Have a Great Summer!

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