Summer is here!!! Vacations, ball games, or cookouts may be in your future this summer but there is always still time to eat healthy. Here are a few tips to help keep you on track for eating healthy this summer:

Have foods from at least three food groups at each of your meals. Starting with a fruit or vegetable can help you feel full which may help you eat less of the higher calorie foods. Choosing meat cuts that are lower in fat (such as chicken breasts instead of the thighs or legs) can also help cut the calories without cutting the food.

Don’t forget to eat!! Summer activities can keep you busy and it is best to not go more than six hours between meals during the day. Missing a meal may lead you to overeat at the next meal and ruin all of the hard work you have done!

Plan your meals. Making sure that your kitchen (or cooler) is stocked with healthy foods that you like will help you make healthy choices when you’re grabbing something to eat when you are hungry. If you are using a cooler, make sure to keep it closed so the foods and drinks may stay colder longer.

Think before you snack. Snacks are also part of a healthy diet and should be planned properly ahead of time and not when you are starving. If you think you want to have a snack, ask yourself, “Am I really hungry?” “Am I thirsty?” “Am I bored, stressed out, or tired?” “Can I make it to my next meal without a snack?”

Stay hydrated! Cut back on alcohol, soda, and sweetened drinks which are loaded with calories. Water and non-caffeinated drinks are the best choices when trying to beat the summer heat.

Be aware of the foods at social gatherings. Usually, the biggest problem isn’t the main course, but it is the munchies, like chips, fried foods, high-fat dipping sauces, and the like. If you are the host, making small changes to your favorite foods can make them healthier without people even noticing! For example, you can make a more nutritious deviled egg platter by using plain Greek yogurt instead of mayonnaise.

Summer may change your routine, but Byrd-Watson Pharmacy is here to help you continue eating healthy. We hope these tips can help you have a happy, fun, and healthy summer!

Article by Laura Olsen, PharmD / Pharmacist-in-Charge at Byrd-Watson Pharmacy