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Coach’s Tips: How to Eat Healthy During the Summer

We all know how tough it is to stay on top of your nutrition throughout the summer months. Barbecues, grad parties, weddings, last second get-togethers, and all the other fun summer activities seem to be breeding grounds for tempting desserts and not-so-healthy meals. Here are some tips from your favorite coaches on how to avoid those temptations and keep up your healthy nutrition routine throughout the summer!

Coach Eric’s Tips:

#1 - Eat Whole Foods. It's the most simple way to know what to eat, and still gives you a ton of options. It's also much easier to say 100% no to things like bread, sugar, ice cream, than to dabble in amounts which can lead to a test of willpower.

#2 - Don't buy things that you shouldn't eat. This one is simple but effective. It's easier to have willpower in the grocery store and say no to a food, then to be at home hungry and reach for something quick and easy that isn't healthy. Instead choose to have "easy" foods on hand. Carrots and guacamole, apple and almond butter, even a healthy cracker like "Mary's Gone Crackers" or something with whole food ingredients you recognize and hummus.

#3 - When you go out to eat, know what you are ordering. It is VERY hard to eat healthy at most restaurants. Most use cheap ingredients, inflammatory oils, or simply don't have whole foods on the menu. Sticking to meat and vegetables when you go out will be your best bet.

Coach Stacey’s Tips:

#1 - Summer is a great time for BBQing and drinking in the sun. But try not to make it an everyday thing. I try to plan ahead with what I plan to eat at a BBQ, I bring something healthier that I know I can enjoy when I’m tempted, I have a go to. For instance Tanya’s special summer dish is a strawberry jalapeño salsa that’s healthy and tasty. If I want to have a drink, I’ll stick to lower calorie, lower carb drinks like Truly.

#2 - Continue to meal prep and plan ahead. Be consistent as much as you can. Monday to Friday is planned. Stick to it.

#3 - My go to trick right now is shopping to go! Pick up your groceries!!! It keeps you out of the store and away from temptation. Plus if your planning ahead, the ordering should be easier. Bonus is I actually save money because I’m not walking in and saying “I need that”.

Coach Zach’s Tips:

#1 - Fill up on fruits and veggies- Summer time is the best time for fresh fruits and vegetables. Whether you are at a BBQ, cooking at home, or going out, fill up on fresh fruits and veggies first. And to take it even further, grow your own!

#2 - Drink lots and lots of water. Summer time means lots of sun, which means you need lots of water! There are many reasons why you want to avoid dehydration, one being that mild dehydration can mask itself as hunger. Long days in the sun require frequent hydration, especially those days that include alcohol and iced coffees.

#3 - Plan ahead- bring good foods with you to cook or snack on at a BBQ. Look up restaurant menus online ahead of time to find an option that aligns with your health goals. Set yourself up for success. You can enjoy all the best aspects of summer while still keeping your health and fitness in mind!

Coach Jenny’s Tips:

#1 - If I go to a “regular” grocery store I try to stick to the outside isles where you can find the fresh foods and avoid the middle isles where all the processed food is.

#2 - Drink water. Keep your cups of coffee to two-three a day. If i need a little pick me-up I like to stick with green tea instead of coffee in the afternoons.

#3 - Meal prep! It will help keep you away from binging on anything you shouldn’t be.

#4 - If I’m in need of something “sweet” there are thousands of alternative recipes to EVERYTHING (cookies, ice cream, etc.) that you can make right at home and is friendly to your macro counting and/or diet.

Coach Tracy’s Tips:

#1 - Eat foods that aren’t in a package/ foods that ARE the ingredient not have ingredients. (Also take time to know what’s in the foods you’re eating)

#2 - With everything you eat- before you take a bite... really think “How is this going to help me with my goal?” If it truly is, then go for it! Or do something active like take a walk and see if you still want it after.

#3 - Plan ahead for gatherings- make sure to always bring something you can and will eat- most times good food can be enjoyed by everyone.

Coach Sarah’s Tips:

#1 - Meal Prep- Preparing your meals ahead of time can help eliminate poor dietary choices. I prep all breakfasts and lunches at the beginning of the week, that way in the morning I can easily grab my containers and not worry about what I’ll eat during the day. I don’t prep dinner but I do plan out the week’s meals and buy it all ahead of time, less trips to the grocery store means less chances of temptation.

#2 - Think Ahead- Parties/BBQs are big in the summer, instead of stressing about faltering in your nutrition, plan ahead! If you’re worried you won’t be able to eat the types of food that will be at a party there are a few tricks: 1. Eat before you leave, being hungry is a big factor when we “fall off the wagon”. 2. Bring a dish or two that you know you can eat! 3. Ask yourself if it’ll be worth it to eat XYZ, more often than not, it won’t be worth it. Grab some healthy alternatives instead!

#3 - Dessert- Almost everyone loves dessert and it seems dessert type foods are more prevalent in the summer. When I’m craving sweets I have a few recipes I turn to- Avocado pudding, homemade fruit ice-cream, or just plain fruit! But watch out if your goal is to lose weight, too much fruit can cause weight gain or prevent weight loss, so limit yourself to 2-3 pieces per day of low sugar fruit.

Coach Alex’s Tips:

#1 - As with many things in life, preparation is key to being successful. When it comes to nutrition, having meals prepared so you can easily access them is huge. If eating healthy and having a social life are both important to you, then maybe that means you bring your own food with you everywhere you go. Or, eat a good healthy meal before you go to the barbecue or grad party so you are full and less likely to be tempted to have those sweets or that hot dog with the works on it. Make it easy on yourself to make healthy choices by preparing meals beforehand.

#2 - If you have trouble holding yourself accountable for what you’re eating when you are out, find an accountability buddy. Make an agreement with them that any time you are thinking of eating something unhealthy, you’ll talk it through with them first. If they’re not with you, arrange to text or call them. If you are with them, pull them aside and have that conversation. Again, if you have nutritional/health goals that are important to you, set yourself up for success regardless of the situation that you’re in. You can’t control the types of food or beverages that will be at a summer get together, but you can control how you respond to what is there; and having someone to help you respond in a healthy way puts you in a better position to make a healthy choice.

#3 - Ignore the noise. You have goals that are hard enough to achieve on your own, never mind with friends and family offering you delicious treats and drinks while you are all hanging by the pool. Find a way to be constantly reminded of what you are trying to achieve, and know that drinking sugary drinks or eating processed foods will prevent you from achieving those goals that you have set. One way I like to do this is to have a quote set as the background of my phone as a reminder of what I am trying to achieve. That way no matter the situation, I know that every time I look at my phone I will be reminded of my goal.

Have nutrition goals? Reach out to one of our coaches today to discuss them!

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