Learn what to eat—and what to avoid—at nine summertime hot spotsBy: The Editors of Fitbie
‘Tis the season for fun in the sun—and endless opportunities to indulge in ice cream, cotton candy, and piña coladas. But tell yourself “It’s OK, I’m on vacation!” one too many times and you’ll cancel out the work you’ve done getting your body beach-ready. Brush up on the basics before digging in to warm-weather treats at the ballpark, boardwalk, or backyard barbecue.
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Brace yourself for a boardwalk binge by keeping in mind the amount of exercise it takes to sweat off certain seaside staples. (Video: 5 moves for a bikini-ready body) You’d need to dig sandcastle moats for an hour and 47 minutes to erase the damage from a 7-oz cup of boardwalk fries (607 calories). Lifting weights at Muscle Beach in Venice, CA, for almost two hours will make up for downing a 760-calorie funnel cake. Carry coolers to and from the beach for an hour and 20 minutes and you’ll torch the 160 calories in a 1.4-oz piece of fudge.
Hungry for more? Read How to Burn Off Summer Indulgences
A ballgame is a prime spot for nutritional strike-outs, like gooey nachos, buttery popcorn, and greasy chicken fingers, but it’s also home to healthier alternatives. (Related: Print these playful posters to inspire your summer slimdown) Root for your favorite team without throwing your diet a curveball by picking cracker jacks over cotton candy, a soft pretzel rather than a heap of nachos, or a snow cone instead of an ice cream cone.
Hungry for more? Check out Diet-Friendly Ballpark Snacks
It’s hard to resist a spread of hamburgers (Search: bikini-friendly burger recipes), potato salad, and apple pie, but piling your plate with a serving of each dish on the buffet can send the calories in your picnic lunch soaring. Indulge with less guilt by making a few simple substitutions. Plop Portobello mushrooms on the grill instead of ground beef patties, use Greek yogurt in place of mayo in summer salads, and enjoy grilled fruit instead of pie for dessert.
Hungry for more? Click on over to Simple Swaps for Summer Weight Loss
Farmers’ markets are brimming with healthy eats, but they’re not all great for your waistline. Fill your arms with full-fat artisanal cheeses, homemade baked goods, and lemonade, and you’ll carry home a hearty helping of calories. Keep it simple when you hit the farm stand—load up on foods like salad greens, beets, heirloom tomatoes, herbs and spices, free-range eggs, and grass-fed meat.
Hungry for more? Browse our Farmers’ Market Shopping List
If you’re heading to the fairgrounds, your best bet is to eat before you go. You’ll be hard pressed to find anything that isn’t battered, deep-fried, sugar-coated, or all of the above. Some notable offenders: deep-fried beer, corndog pizza, deep-fried peanut butter and jelly, and doughnut bacon cheeseburgers.
Hungry for more? Don’t miss State Fair Food Nightmares
A dirty little secret about charcoal: Grilling meat, poultry, or fish over intense heat can produce carcinogens called heterocyclic amines (HCAs). Limit your exposure to these compounds by protecting meat from direct flames, flipping it frequently, draining off juices, and removing charred or blackened areas before serving.
Hungry for more? Take a look at our Guide to Healthy Grilling
Don’t return from a summer trip with extra baggage. Pack nonperishable protein-rich snacks, like raw nuts, seeds, or half of a peanut butter sandwich, to tide you over on long drives when fast food joints and vending machines may be your only dining options. Also use rest stops for mini workouts—perform a set of 15 squats and 15 pushups at each pit stop, for example.
Hungry for more? Check out Road Trip without Gaining Weight
When you’re craving something cool and creamy but nervous about piling on calories, steer clear of full-fat ice cream, milkshakes, layered sundaes, and soft serve-and-candy combos. Better bets: a Klondike 100-Calorie Vanilla Bar or a Ciao Bella Blood Orange Sorbet Bar (60 calories).
Hungry for more? Don’t miss Best and Worst Ice Cream Treats
More daylight means more excuses to stay out and sip summery drinks after work. Just make sure you’re not downing daiquiris (449 calories for 8 oz) or piña coladas (618 calories for 8 oz) all night. A couple of ways to kick back without kicking your diet to the curb: order vodka soda with a twist of citrus peel and pick lower-proof varieties of liquor or beer.
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