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Smart Eating for Summer: How to Stay Healthy at Any Get Together

Bridal showers, bachelorette parties, weddings, BBQs, oh my! Summer get togethers are in full swing and that means lots of friends, family, food and drinks. Navigate any type of get together with confidence with my tips on how to stay healthy in the summer!

You want to say yes to rooftop drinks afterwork but that means you’ll be missing your workout class and weekends are quickly filling up with family functions and street festivals. It is such a fun time of year, and you want to be able to enjoy all the festivities without feeling like all of your healthy goals have unraveled.

I know exactly what it’s like to feel this way. For years (and still sometimes now!) I find myself torn torn between “being fun” and going to bed early to get a good nights sleep and wake up for a workout class.

The trade off between our social lives and being healthy is one of the hardest things for a lot of us, and I’m here to say it doesn’t necessarily have to be one or the other. These smart eating for summer tips, tricks and approaches to the daytime get together, nighttime party, and weekend trip will help you enjoy the moment and feel your best doing it! Staying healthy in the summer is 100% doable!

I’m definitely not perfect at these tactics all of the time and that’s OK. I want to underscore that they are aimed at taking the stress out of eating during these summer social situations and not about over analyzing every food choice you make. Celebrating all of these special occasions with the ones you love and making memories is really what it’s all about!

The Day Time Get Together

Lay Low the Night Before

If you know you’re going to a daytime party on a Saturday, stay in on Friday and catch some ZZ’s. Make dinner at home with your significant other and call it quits after one glass of wine. A recent study found that after a short night’s sleep adults ate about an extra 300 calories and tended to choose higher-fat, higher-calorie foods.

Eat a Good Breakfast

Start your day with a good foundation of protein, good carb, and healthy fat so you don’t go to the event starving. Skipping breakfast to “save” calories and showing up absolutely famished is the quickest way to overdo it on an appetizer that normally you might not even like!

Bring Something

An easy way to make sure they will have something you like to eat is to bring it yourself. Think a fruit or veggie tray, a tray of wraps or dips like guacamole, hummus or salsa. They’re easy to pick up from any grocery store, and the host will be gracious too. I swear other people are hoping that there will be something healthy to nosh on in addition to the typical party food and it can help you

Mingle Away from the Appetizers

If you choose to mingle around the appetizer table it will be all too easy to grab a few bites here and a few bites there, and soon have more than you wanted to initially. Put food on a plate and take your conversation else where!

Match your Drinks with Water

A drink in the morning or afternoon can be fun but to avoid overdoing it early in the day, match your drinks with a glass of water. Not only will you feel better in general (hangover helper) but it will also help with your hunger/ fullness cues throughout the day.

The Evening Party

Eat Like You Would All Day

Waiting all day for a wedding at night? Eat like you would on any other day for breakfast and lunch. I would say the same thing if we were talking about Thanksgiving Day! The notion of “saving up” calories for later almost always backfires. Treating it like a normal eating day (everyones “normal is different!) will keep your hunger in check and prevent you from overeating later.

Ruin Your Appetite

Never go into a big eating event, like a wedding starving. Why? It will be all too easy to grab the first thing you see (which may end up being a crappy appetizer). Your ability to say no to the things you wouldn’t normally eat is nearly gone when your stomach and brain are wanting food. Instead, eat a snack 1- 1 1/2 hours before you go so your not ravenous but can still enjoy dinner. Plus it will be so much easier to mingle and enjoy yourself during cocktail hour when your stomach is not growling!

Pick Your Poison

If I know they’re going to have an amazing dessert, I’ll skip the appetizers. If I’m having drinks maybe I’ll skip the dessert. Trade off something so that you’re not doing appetizers, drinks, entree & dessert. This is not a deprivation tactic, but rather an approach to take when you are faced with endless food choices throughout the night at an event.

Look Before You Touch

Survey your food options before you pick. Then you’ll get a better idea of what special foods you especially want vs. other things you can easily pass up. I always like to try things I wouldn’t make at home or that I don’t have very often. I’ll put two or three appetizers on a plate and walk away.

Be Thoughtful About Alcohol

I’m definitely not saying you can’t drink (because I wouldn’t not!), but I am saying drink better things! Drink calories add up so check out the list below for smarter spirits that have less sugar which means less of a hangover (hopefully) the next day too!

Smarter Spirits

  • vodka seltzer w/ lemon or lime (96 calories)
  • sugarless mojito w/ extra lime (70 calories)
  • traditional gimlet (178 calories)
  • champagne (brut zero means hardly any sugar added) (90 calories)
  • red or white wine (5oz. pour) (109-120 calories)
  • light beer (104 calories)
  • kombucha cocktail (varies)
  • straight bourbon, whiskey or rum (90 calories each)
  • Gin & tonic (148 calories)
  • classic martini (176 calories)
  • paloma (166 calories)

The Weekend Trip

Travel With Food

Don’t rely on airport food or gas station snacks to be high in protein and low in sugar. They have come a long way and there is an amazing Cibo Express at O’hare that is stocked with all of my favorite snacks, however that is definitely not the case at every airport!

Leave room in your carry on to bring some non-perishable foods that will be great to have whether you’re hiking or chilling by the pool. They can even be good options for breakfast when continental isn’t going to cut it. My favorites are listed below!

Hydration Exclamation Point

Flying itself is super dehydrating and can wreak havoc on our digestive systems. Make sure you’re making a point to bring a refillable water bottle and to use it! I swear by bringing an empty one to the airport–most have water bottle refill stations near each bathroom.

Staying hydrated will help your hunger cues and will help to keep you regular while traveling. Because it’s happened to me a lot, and perhaps there is nothing worse than having tummy troubles in a new city that supposed to be fun, I’m all about the water consumption!

Hit the Grocery Store

If staying at an airbnb stop by a grocery store and stock up on a few things to have for breakfast or lunch in between meals out. Think veggie trays, cut up fruit, nut butter, crackers, hummus, salsa and guacamole.

We did this on a recent bachelorette party I was on and it was a serious game changer. Not only did it save us money in the long run from having to eat every meal out, but it felt nice to snacks on familiar foods that I know my body likes.

Make Fast-Food Work

There will be times when fast food is the only option, and that’s ok. Take your burger without the bun and opt for the smallest size of french fries. Split something with a friend, and look for things that are grilled vs. fried.

Aim to have something with protein and fiber and if there’s something that you’re dying to try, order it for the table. Pancakes for the table anyone?!

Plan for When You’re Back

I know there’s always a lot to do before a trip but take 30 minutes to order your groceries online and schedule your workouts for the following week before you head out of town. This simple act of preplanning will give you peace of mind while you’re away and help you to get back to your routine with ease when you’re back.

This recipe for zoodle and turkey stuffed peppers and this one for a thai crunch quinoa salad would both be great to whip up after a trip!

Enjoy the Moment

How often do you get to see the people you are with for a bachelorette party in a given year? Soak up the sun, and soak up their company with good food! That is a huge point that I would like to underscore with this guide for how to stay healthy in the summer. You know you’ll be back to you routine soon enough.

Maggie’s Favorite Travel Snacks

Want to chat with a nutrition expert about you’re own personalized nutrition plan and how to stay healthy in the summer? Email me at onceuponapumpkinrd@gmail.com to schedule your free 30 minute discovery call!

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2016-05-03T18:24:44+00:00

Carly

"Maggie did a great job of listening to my needs and offering practical, cost-effective, and sustainable solutions."
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