6 Summer Food Traps & How to Avoid Them

June 15, 2015

Did your New Year’s resolutions fall away in February? Are you finding the temptation of socializing way more appealing than working on crafting the perfect beach body you dreamed of back when we were all in parkas? Congratulations, you are human.

The days are longer, the weekend party invites are more plentiful, and even if you can’t be perfect, there are hazards and healthy alternatives to keep your eye on so you don’t run the risk of overindulging, hurting your health and making next New Year an even bigger hurdle.

1. Fast food “because we’re busy” trap.

Avoid anyplace that is keen to stick a bag of grub out the side of their building, into your belly. Keep granola or a bag of nuts in your purse or car to stave off the urge to grab a McWhatever with fries. Even a chocolate bar is better than a calorie-packed meal.

2. Ice Cream “because it’s hot” trap.

The CDC has discovered that 25% of Americans don’t meet their daily needs of fruit and vegetables. You’re hot? Perhaps a spinach or yogurt smoothie will do, or a cool bowl of assorted fruits like watermelon, grapes, a banana – you get the point. Just because it’s hot, doesn’t mean it’s time to break out the sprinkles. Listen to your inner mom — ice water will cool you off, really.

3. Fried foods “because I’m at the beach/carnival/on the highway” trap.

Try to pass on these. If you can find it, grilled or steamed foods are much better. The taste is comparable, and the health benefits aren’t even close. Leave the fried chicken behind and embrace the grill to not load up on extra fat and calories.

4. Soda “because it’s in the cooler” trap.

So many soda commercials show healthy young people running around with cans that if you dropped in from another planet you’d think soda was a health food. But people of earth know sugary soda is the definition of empty calories. Seltzer with a slice of citrus and maybe a splash of 100% fruit juice really will hit the spot.

5. Junk food “because it’s easy” trap.

Processed sweets offer little in return for how much they take away. Opt instead for snacks that energize you without adding extra calories and possibly funky ingredients. Carrots, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, etc. Apple slices with peanut butter or sunflower butter make for a delightful and tasty snack.

6. Crazy drinks with umbrellas “because umbrellas are awesome” trap.

It’s summertime, you might want to kick back with a drink that screams “fun.” But beware the flavored concoctions – they can contain loads of carbohydrates and calories. Turn your eye towards the simpler beverages that still allow you to have a good time. You can always bat your eyelashes at the bartender and ask him/her for an umbrella anyway. Because yes, drink umbrellas ARE awesome.
Related bonus link
We saw a fun article by Kara Newman in Arrive magazine called Drink Your Veggies about wild new vegetable-infused cocktails featuring beets, carrots and even avocado. Although, getting spoiled by drinks featuring smoked beets and rhubarb bitters might be another trap entirely…