Summer is right around the corner and between the all the pool parties and barbecues, it’s easy to skip out on the exercise. You may feel guilty about skipping out on your workout,  but feel free to pile on the food during these next few months. While summer isn’t as food heavy of a season like fall or winter (we’re still dreaming of Christmas cookies and pumpkin pie) it’s still important to understand how to continue on this health journey especially when it comes to what you put in your mouth.

Indulge in Produce

Luckily, summer is the season of farmers markets, which is great for you physically and financially. Farmers markets tend to have foods grown with fewer chemicals and also tend to be cheaper than most grocery stores. Farmers markets offer a variety of specialty items that may be more difficult to find at grocery stores as well.

If you’re nowhere near a farmers market, don’t worry, you’ll still be able to take advantage of the produce section in your local grocery store. Most fruits and vegetables are in their peak season during the summer months, making them easier and more delicious to consume. Salads are also popular dishes that seem to make a come back in the summer and are a great way to consume multiple nutritious food groups in one sitting.

Take Advantage of the Grill

Barbecues are one the highlights of most people’s summer and for good reason. While most associate barbecues with burgers and hot dogs, choose a healthier option like grilled chicken. The possibilities are endless when it comes to grilling, so opt for some type of lean protein like turkey, fish, or bison. There are plenty of ways to enjoy these in various forms, so get creative with the spices and unleash your inner chef.

Stay Hydrated

This is important all year round but especially during the summer months. With scorching hot temperatures and outdoor activities increasing, dehydration can become a major issue. Keeping a reusable water bottle with you is a good way to stay hydrated but also to avoid any unnecessary snacking. Many times, it’s difficult for our brain to differentiate between the signals of thirst and hunger. When we are hungry our bodies are often lacking water. Drinking a glass of water is a great way to control both your hydration levels and feel fuller longer.

Try to Limit the Sugar

Now we’re not saying that you need to cut out all ice cream or pina coladas by the pool, but do try and be aware of the amount of sugar that you are consuming. Sugar is one of those things that is in everything, especially processed foods. One way to help cut sugar out is to prepare your meals rather than buying them. This way, you know how much, if any, is going into the food you eat.

Same goes for cocktails. So many “pre-mixed” or “ready to drink” cocktails on the market are loaded with sugar. Sometimes, it's unavoidable, but if you are able to make your own drinks do that instead. Switch out the sugary syrups for natural fruit juices or purees, and use natural sweeteners like honey, agave, or stevia. Try mixing your alcohol with soda or tonic water. Tea is another great option. This way, you get the best of both worlds!

We understand it’s hard to follow all of these suggestions but we’ve got your back here at Fitness Specialist. We are here for any of your fitness and fitness equipment based questions. Feel free to contact us here or stop by at either our Lubbock or Odessa locations in Texas. We look forward to helping you crush your goals this summer!