The kids are out of school, the days are longer, and summer vacations are on their way. Fitting exercise in during the summer months may be a challenge with new schedules, children heading to summer camps, and exciting travel plans, but I am sure you are already thinking about how you can get your workouts in, go for a run on the beach, and maintain all the progress you have made during the first half of 2012. But have you thought about your eating plan? No, I’m not talking about making sure you have enough barbecue and beer for your weekly grilling extravaganza. I’m talking about making sure you are prepared for changes in your daily routine that may throw your existing diet into a tailspin of reaction eating, fast food feasts, and late-night refrigerator raids.
During the summer months our schedules tend to change from the normal grind we have in the winter and spring. With this change in schedule, many people forget to change their diet to match their changes in routine. Regardless of your summer schedule, it is important to maintain the “three-hour rule” of eating. Simply put, you should eat something balanced approximately every three hours or so to keep hunger in check, blood sugar level, and your metabolism revved up. After all, you can’t take that summer road trip without stopping to fill your car’s gas tank; why do you think you can work, shuttle kids to soccer games, and still make it to the gym without taking time to fill YOUR tank?
So what is balanced eating? No, it’s not having chips in one hand and a margarita in the other! Balanced eating is simply choosing or combining foods that contain carbohydrates, protein and a little fat. By ensuring snacks and meals have each of these essential macronutrients, you give your body lasting energy and will tame those summer cravings. To fit within those crazy summer days, make sure your balanced snacks and meals are portable, so you don’t have the excuse of not having anything with you. Before you leave the house for that road trip, or even an afternoon of youth baseball games, pack a cooler with low-fat yogurt, cheese sticks, nuts, tasty summer fruits like peaches, nectarines, and watermelon (I always pack apples too; the year-round super fruit!), and throw in a few of those ubiquitous PB&Js on whole-wheat and you will be able to tame even the most fierce summer hunger attacks.
If you would like help with your summer eating plan or just need some fresh snack ideas, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. eat right. be fit. live well.