The summer months encourage you to be outdoors, exercise and eat fresh and healthy. According to statistics by the fall we haven't exactly kept up to those goals. We may have packed on an extra five pounds! The heat slows us down; the abundance of entertaining is out of control and it's just so easy to overeat those luscious grilled meats, potato salads and ice cream. We also are out at events more and can get caught off guard by the offerings.
Since we still have the better part of the summer ahead of us, here are some tips to maintain your health and weight while out and about:
Margarita vs. Mojito
Watch those frozen cocktails often due to the size alone. They are usually made with sugar syrups, coconut milk and sweetened fruit. A large frozen margarita can be close to 1,000 calories! Alcohol also whets your appetite and numbs your mind, so healthy eating flies out the window.
A mojito doesn't have excess sugary syrups and will run you about 200 calories. Order a small size and drink carbonated water in between.
Freshly squeezed lemonade vs. Fruit flavoured water
Sounds healthy and oh-so-fresh. But most lemonades have so much sugar it's hard to find the lemon flavour. A 16 oz drink will give your over 250 calories and that's just in sugar. There's definitely not enough lemon to count this as one of your fruit servings!
Your best bet is always water, lemon or lime slices and loads of ice. Incredibly thirst quenching and zero calories. The next best drink would be the low calorie fruit flavoured waters with artificial sweeteners. But keep these to a minimum. Sweeteners whet your appetite for more sugar.
Social gatherings and alcohol always bring out the worst fried finger foods you could imagine. Even the fried veggies, tempura style are deadly. Fried is fried! An average serving of fried zucchini or sweet potatoes will be over 400 calories with very few nutrients.
Stick to the raw veggies and dip and go easy on the dips since that's where all your calories and fat are. A few pickles, olives or antipasto is even better, but still soaked in oil.
Funnel cakes vs. Cotton candy
What would a theme park be without funnel cakes (another name for deep fried cake batter)? A funnel cake will cost you around 750 calories and 35 grams of fat!
Try the cotton candy which is only about 150 calories with no fat.
Giant turkey drumsticks vs. Chicken kebabs
If you got to the Calgary Stampede you couldn't have missed a scene right out of the Flintstones. Everyone munching on their "dinosaur" drum sticks! These are deep fried turkey drum sticks ringing in at over 1,000 calories and 55 grams of fat!
Next time look for the Mediterranean spot and get yourself a chicken, beef or pork kebab coming in at only 200 calories and five grams of fat
Sausages, hot dogs and beer
Sausages have to be one of the highest calorie and fat item you could put on the grill. A sausage with fried onions, peppers and cheese sauce comes in at 900 calories and 55 grams of fat. Add a regular beer and that's an extra 150 calories.
Next time enjoy a regular sized hot dog with mustard, relish and ketchup and you'll only be consuming 200 calories and 10 grams of fat. A light beer is only around 75 calories. A nutritional bargain!
These kinds of calories -- of the liquid variety -- can really eat up your daily calorie intake if you let them. Margaritas are full of sugar and have huge portion sizes, and can be up to 1,000 calories! Opt for a mojito instead -- the same refreshing flavour with a fraction of the calories.
Even though tempura doesn't seem so bad, don't be fooled! Fried is fried! Not to mention fried spring rolls, jalapeno poppers and mozzarella sticks. Go for raw veggies, or if you're craving that savoury taste, some antipasto (though careful -- those are soaked in oil).
There are so many events during the summer, and you'll always see the usual suspects -- funnel cakes, corn dogs, nachos and candy apples. Funnel cakes, a.k.a.: deep fried cake batter, can cost you 750 calories and tons of fat. If you must, opt for the cotton candy option -- high sugar content, but nowhere near those deep fried disasters!
Another deep fried culprit! A giant one of these -- Flintstones style -- can run you over 50 grams of fat. Try to sniff out a Greek restaurant or stand at a fair and choose a chicken or beef kebab. All the flavour and a fraction of the fat!
A sausage with fried onions, peppers and cheese sauce comes in at 900 calories and 55 grams of fat. And that's before the requisite BBQ beer. If you must be grilling this summer, choose a regular all-beef hot dog and hold the extra-fatty condiments. (And go for light beer!)
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