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Gearing up for a Great Summer!

Posted: Jun 14 in Weight Management Strategies by

Our three warmest months of the year have begun! What activities have you planned for this summer? Looking back at past summers, did your fitness level rise or drop? What kinds of eating and exercise did you get into? Did you have kids in summer sports? How did that affect your eating and exercise? All of these considerations determine whether the summer months contribute or detract from your general health.

If summer hobbies, vacations, weddings and neighborhood parties put weight on you last year, it’s time to restructure your “free” hours to your benefit. Colorado is a wonderful place to be in the summer. It’s pretty easy to plan active day trips every weekend! We have tons of walking, hiking and biking trails of all ability levels, a great zoo, a wild animal park, fabulous museums, parks and rivers for hours of electronics-free fun. If home is your thing, maybe it’s the year to grow a garden! Nurseries have veggie plants all ready to pop into the soil or the pot on your sunny deck. Nothing tastes better (or is healthier) than food you grow yourself. Home-raised veggies on the grill are fantastic (yum).

Are your kiddos dragging you all over town to their games and activities? It can be a real challenge to feed everyone, including yourself, healthfully. Fill coolers with easy to eat foods: string cheese and low fat cheese slices, hard boiled eggs, turkey pepperoni, celery, carrots, pea pods, nuts, fresh and dried fruits and whole grain mini bagels. These same foods travel well for car trips, picnics and hikes. It’s easier to avoid the pitfalls of fast food joints when you do a little pre-planning. It’s more fun to eat outside anyway! To have happy hikers, bikers and swimmers, enlist everyone everyone in both the event and the food selection.

One of the hardest challenges my patients tell me about involves neighborhood ‘garage parties’. You know, the Friday and Saturday evenings where we gather for a few drinks and snacks after dinner? If these are a regular part of your summer revelry , what do you do to forestall weight gain from the extra calories? It’s so great to relax with the neighbors. Could you pre plan for those weekly events by skipping a couple of starch servings and the dressing on your salad and/or sandwich? Be the person who brings the crunchy veggie platter or the exquisite fruit tray! Consciously cutting back on your intake by a couple hundred calories ( or more, if you really want to hang loose at the party!) can help you to maintain that hard body physique!
Happy Summer! Enjoy!!!

-By Tracy Boykin, RD

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