For many of us, the sunny summer months are the busiest time of the year. From holidays and BBQs to beer garden trips, days at the beach and, of course, wedding season, the summer can be hectic, to say the least.
And, as we get busier, it can be difficult to stay on track with our nutrition goals.
Here are our top 10 summer nutrition tips, so you can enjoy the summer while feeling your very best.
Choose seasonal produce
Summer is the perfect time to tuck into seasonal produce. With plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables available, it’s easy to pull together nutritious meals and delicious salads. Asparagus, broccoli, courgettes, spring greens, cucumber, strawberries, raspberries, radishes, and new potatoes are all in season, so load up your plate with plenty of fresh, seasonal goodness.
Prep, prep, prep
When you’re busy, it’s tempting to grab a takeaway or hit up the drive-through. While there’s nothing wrong with doing this from time to time, it shouldn’t become a daily event! So, if you know you’ve got a busy week ahead of you, take some time to prepare your meals in advance. Then, at the end of a busy day, you’ll have a healthy, nutritious, and delicious meal ready and waiting for you at home.
Have snacks to hand
As well as prepping your meals, make sure you’re always prepared with healthy, nutritious snacks, such as carrot sticks, hummus, apples, boiled eggs, and energy bars. If you’re spending a long day out in the sunshine, taking a day trip, or simply have a busy day ahead of you, having these snacks on hand will keep you energised and stop you being tempted by unhealthy snacks when you’re out an about.
Not drinking enough water can make you feel tired, bloated, and sluggish. And staying hydrated is even more important during the hot summer months, especially if you’re spending time outside in the sunshine. So, make sure you drink plenty of water and get into the habit of taking your water bottle everywhere with you. According to the NHS, you should aim to drink six to eight glasses of water each day.
If you’re running or exercising, hydration needs to be your top priority – carry water with you at all times and look out for places to top up your supply.
Keep the BBQ lean
If you’re heading out for your third BBQ of the week, think about the meat you take with you. Rather than high-fat options such as sausages and burgers, why not bring some tasty leaner meats instead. Turkey breasts, chicken breasts, and fish can provide a lighter, leaner, but just as delicious, alternative.
And remember you can cook veggies on the BBQ too! Mushrooms, peppers, courgette, and corn on the cob are all great for grilling.
Choose your drinks carefully
There’s nothing wrong with enjoying an alcoholic drink or two while you’re relaxing in the sun but think about which drinks you’re choosing. Cocktails are a popular summer choice, but they are often packed full of sugar. Instead, opt for clear spirits such as vodka or gin, served with fresh lime or lemon and soda. These are far lower in sugar and calories than cocktails – and you don’t want to drink all your calories!
Light frequent meals
When the weather is warmer, many of us have less of an appetite and that can make it all too easy to miss meals. To avoid going too long without eating and ensure you get the nutrients you need, try having lighter meals more frequently throughout the day. Pile your plate high with fruit and vegetables for a lighter bite to eat.
Consume more salty foods
Too much salt can be a bad thing, but in the summer months, when you’re sweating more, it’s important to ensure that you’re getting enough salt, particularly if you’re exercising a lot. So, add some olives, pretzels, or other salty snacks into your diet.
A bowl of berries
Summer is the perfect time to tuck into fresh, seasonal berries. Aim to eat a small bowl of berries each and every day, not only are they delicious, but they are also bursting with antioxidants that will help prevent tissue damage, keep your skin glowing all summer and help reduce the risk of age-related illnesses.
Keep caffeine under control
Caffeine can increase your risk of dehydration, so try to limit your intake to one or two cups of coffee a day during the warmer weather.
In summary, our top 10 Summer Nutrition Tips:
- Consume lots of fresh, seasonal produce
- Prepare meals in advance
- Always have healthy, nutritious snacks to hand
- Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated
- Opt for lean meats and proteins on the BBQ
- Choose lighter, low sugar drinks
- Have light, frequent meals
- Consume more salty foods
- Eat a bowl of berries each day
- Limit your caffeine intake
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