Summer is all about fun with vacations, parties, BBQs, and picnics! This year we will be able to enjoy all of these things. While summer is a time for fun, many things can derail your wellness journey. Peer pressure, over-processed food, food high in fat and carbs, plus alcohol, but It doesn’t have to be that way.
At food camp, we track macros; keeping track of how much protein, fat, and carbs you’re getting can help you stay consistent with what you’re eating. The more consistent you are, the happier your body will be.
Not only do food campers track macros, but they also learn about what they’re eating. This is the educational component of Food Camp; if you know better, you do better. You don’t have to be perfect at tracking macros over the summer, but thinking about what’s in your food may help you make better choices.
This month, we went over typical summertime BBQ and picnic foods. The goal was to make balancing food choices easier for our food campers.
Snack choices are usually something that sits out all day so people can munch. Chips, salsa, chips and dip, pretzels are the most common. Below is what the macros look like for popular picnic snacks, many are high in fat and carbs.
Keep the carbs and fat low while snacking or choose not to snack at all. Have one serving and do not graze; it’s harder to keep track of how much you’ve had when you've been grazing. Veggies and hummus are a good choice if you want a little snack.
Hot dogs or sausages are a popular staple for the grill. We recommend eating them in moderation because sausages and hot dogs are processed food with preservatives and nitrates. If you choose to eat this, the macro makeup is for the sausage, bun, and condiments.
Each of these sausage choices is higher in fat; this is not a problem if you pair it with a side that is lower in fat. Once you add a bun, you’ll add some carbs, but if you’d like to keep carbs low, forget the bun or choose a side low in carbs.
Who doesn’t love a grilled burger?? There is a lot involved in a burger, and they can derail you quickly if you’re not paying attention. It’s not just the burger that will throw you off; it’s the bun, the mayo, the cheese, the fat can quickly add up!!!
Switch to a turkey burger made with chicken breast to keep the fat low. Also, if you want condiments, go with mustard or ketchup. As you can see, mayo has 10 grams of fat. Again, forget the bun if you’re going to keep the carbs low. Make smart choices for the side, veggies, low fat, low carb.
Typical sides are full of mayo (fat) and carbs, potato salad, and coleslaw, to name a few. Very few people think of bringing veggies as a side to a party or a picnic. There are so many veggie-based salads such as tomato salad with mozzarella, cucumber salad, or even some grilled veggies!!
Sides are a great way to manage the macros after you’ve decided to have the burger or the hotdog. Enjoy a little potato salad if that’s what you like but focus on the available veggies or the sides low in fat and carbs.
Now that we’ve talked about food let’s talk about alcohol! It’s summertime, and we may drink a little more than usual. Maybe it’s at a picnic, or it’s on your deck after you did yard work all afternoon. Overindulging can affect your weight loss. We know alcohol is empty calories. Did you know it will also prevent you from burning fat while it’s in your system?
We recommend clear liquor and soda water. Of course, if you prefer beer or wine, be aware of how many macros are in it.
Macros in alcohol must come from either carbs or fat. To figure this out, you figure out the calories of your preferred beverage. If you’re taking the macros from carbs, you divide the calories divided by 4; for fat, you divide the calories by 9.
Hard seltzers are ok if you’re looking to keep carbs low. Please be aware that it’s not grain alcohol with soda water in that can. Popular hard seltzers are fermented sweetened seltzer water. Ingredients include corn syrup or cane sugar. They are easy to drink, which means it’s easy to overindulge. In general, drink water between beverages and do it in moderation.
Eat before you go.
Make a plan! Know what you will be eating before you go and stick to it!
Bring something you know you’ll eat.
Focus on veggie sides.
Skip the bun and/or condiments.
Have one serving of whatever you're choosing to eat.
Don’t overindulge on snacks.
Drink water between adult beverages.
Have fruit for dessert, or skip it!
Make it a cheat meal, not a cheat day.
Remember: If you mess up and overindulge, it’s ok; what matters is that you get up the next day and get back on track!!!
To learn more about Food Camp, schedule an informational call.