Eat Right Here
Maggie Moon, MS, RD

Maggie Moon, MS, RD

Slim Down for Summer: 7 Tips

With Memorial Day Weekend around the corner — and with it, the unofficial start of summer — now’s the time to really step up your slim-down-for-summer efforts!

While the following advice is not as sexy as what you might find in {insert latest fad diet here}, the simple truth is this: in order to lose weight, you have to burn more calories than you take in.

To maximize the health benefits so that you take care of your body’s nutrient needs and feel great while losing weight, those calories-in should be as nutrient-rich as possible.

That is, think about food the same way you would when bargain hunting for anything else and get the most bang for your buck (that is to say, the most nutrition for your calorie). To put it another way, 50 calories of blueberries wins over 50 calories of candy bar.

The Calorie Basics:

  • Protein and carbohydrates provide 4 calories per gram
  • Alcohol provides 7 calories per gram
  • Fat provides 9 calories per gram
  • Walking for 5 minutes burns about 15 calories; sleeping burns about 1 calorie per minute

Seven Slimming Tips

1. Enjoy Produce Every Day.
Vegetables are especially nutrient-rich while being relatively low in calories. Their volume, water content, and fiber, help you feel fuller longer. Choose from a variety of vibrantly colorful fruits and veggies for nutrient-packed snacks and meals. Fresh, roasted, and sautéed are healthier ways to enjoy these foods. For peak season produce to see what’s going to be great for delivery tomorrow, check out Great Right Now Produce. I just put three containers of antioxidant-rich blueberries into my cart for tomorrow – yum!

2. Go for Good Carbs.
Thankfully, carb-phobia has largely left the building. Which is good news for the brain, which prefers carbohydrates as its fuel of choice! Nutrient-rich choices include high fiber whole-grains, beans, and vegetables over refined grains and fried potatoes. Naturally occurring carbohydrates can also be found in nutrient-packed foods like fruits and dairy foods.

3. Pick these Proteins.
Proteins don’t just come from animals anymore. With new recommendations to follow a plant-based diet, you may be interested in exploring healthy proteins from plant foods such as beans, nuts, and soy products. Seafood also offers good protein choices. If including poultry and meat, choose lean types and roast, bake, broil, poach, or sauté. Want some expert advice? Check out our How to Cook It info.

4. Learn the Big Fat Truth.
Don’t be afraid of healthy fats from unsaturated sources such as liquid oils (e.g. canola oil, vegetable oil, olive oil), and within foods such as avocado, salmon and other fatty fish, nuts and whole grains. They’re actually heart-healthy, especially when you use them instead of saturated and trans fats.

5. Decide: Are You are Hungry or Thirsty?
Stay hydrated. Sometimes thirst-cues can be confused for hunger-cues. Drink water and tea to stay hydrated. Enjoying fruits and vegetables with high water content also contributes to hydration, which is a great tip especially for the summer months. Some examples are cucumbers, watermelon, grapefruit, celery, peppers, and tomatoes.

6. Let’s Move!
Move more, every day. Look for opportunities to work physical activity into your day. If it’s hard to find time to get to the gym, join a sports team or take a dance class, look for other ways to move more: Take the stairs, take a walk, lift weights during commercial breaks – where there’s a will there’s a way.

7. Track Your Progress.
Keep track of how you’re doing in a diet and exercise journal. See how you’re doing compared to your goals, making adjustments where there’s room for improvement. Simply being more aware of what you’re eating every day is doing something right for your health.

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For more of my food tips (all with great savings!), check out my Healthy Living for Less section.

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