Diet Destroying Summer Treats

Photo Credit: Joe Mabel CC-BY-SA-3.0-migrated

Summer – hot days, warm nights, delectable smells of outdoor grilling, ice cream and frosty sodas! It’s time for picnics in the park with potato salad, fried chicken, chips and dip. Summer food favorites are a delicious treat but can destroy your diet. You can enjoy a juicy steak from the grill or a hot dog and cold beer at the baseball game without completely undoing all your hard work to lose weight, but moderation is the key! Unless you pay attention to what you eat and drink you can consume hundreds of extra calories during a casual day at the beach. 
The backyard barbecue is one of the worst diet destroyers. Steaks and burgers are high in calories and fat. Pork ribs are loaded with fat and high in calories. Select lean means with the fat trimmed before cooking. Skinless chicken and fish is another good choice for the barbecue. Grilled vegetables and lean beef lightly grilled on a skewer is another great way to enjoy the barbecue without adding too many extra calories. 
Baseball is a summer tradition, and so is the hot dog and beer at the game. Hot dogs and sausages like bratwurst, are high not only in fat but also in sodium. Too much salt in your diet can cause you to retain fluid in your cells and may contribute to high blood pressure. A typical beer is high in calories too. Choose lite beer or reduced calorie beer if possible. One sausage or hot dog won’t completely undo your diet if you watch what you eat for the rest of the day and get some exercise afterward. Ice cream and milk shakes can have almost 800 calories per serving! Consider a frosty sherbet, fruit sorbet or frozen fruit juice bar to beat the summer heat instead. 
The local fair is a dangerous place for dieters.  Many food booths at fairs batter and fry everything. Fair goers can indulge in every imaginable fried food from fried cake, fried cheese and even fried butter. The treats are virtually endless too. You will find candy apples, cotton candy, grilled fatty meats, hot dogs, bratwurst loaded with cheese and sugary sodas. Many fair-goers will buy a fried food and eat it while they walk around the fair taking in all the exhibits. You can easily eat more than you think if you eat while being distracted by fair booths. If you are going to visit a fair this summer take a bag with some healthy snacks and plenty of water. Eat a light lunch with plenty of whole grains and healthy carbohydrates before you go to the fair so you will not be hungry and tempted to buy a cheese covered corn dog or a stick of fried butter. 

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