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Stress and Summer

Posted Aug 31 2008 12:00am

When you think of summer what comes to mind?  Do you think of relaxing days by the pool or kids home on vacation creating havoc with your schedule or running the kids to swim practice and tennis lessons? When you are busy and frazzled, eating patterns change and you tend to skip meals and eat whatever you can find. In the summer, sweet tea, ice cream cones, boardwalk fries, frozen custard and funnel cakes can make us feel good temporarily. These are all the foods we love to indulge in, but they’re not good for our waistlines and in a few hours we are feeling guilty.  Here is a list of foods to help avoid the bikini bulge.

1. High-Fat Meats on the Barbeque. The fattest part of an animal is the ribs, yet so many enjoy this meal on the grill.  Stay away from ribs and other cuts of meat with visible fat. Watch the use of barbeque sauce (many carbs and 100 calories/TBSP) unless you use Masterpiece Low Calorie Barbeque Sauce (10 calories). When possible, go for lean cuts like sirloin steak, 90% lean ground beef, pork tenderloin or skinless chicken breast.

2. Hot dogs, Sausages, and Bratwurst. Hot dogs and sausages are favorite summer treats for many Americans, but you might want to save them for baseball games. A typical hot dog has 280 calories, 15 grams of fat, while 6 ounces of kielbasa has 330 calories, 24 grams of fat.

3. Mayonnaise-Based Salads. What would a barbeque be without the coleslaw, potato, or pasta salad? A small half-cup portion of your typical potato salad has 180 calories and 12 grams of fat; the same amount of coleslaw has about 150 calories and 8 grams of fat. To cut calories, make your salads using light mayonnaise; a mixture of mayo and plain low-fat yogurt or light sour cream; or dilute your mayo with chicken stock.

4. Sweet Alcoholic Drinks. Sweet, fruity alcoholic drinks may go down easy, but the calories add up in a hurry.  For example, pina coladas can range from 245-590 calories, a daiquiri can contain from 300-800 calories, instead try a wine spritzer or diet soda and vodka.

5. Thirst Quenchers. When you’re hot, you need to stay hydrated.  Remember, to watch what you choose to quench your thirst.  If you’re drinking 12-ounce containers of beer, sweetened soda, sweet tea, energy drinks, or juice drinks, you’re probably taking in about 150 calories each.  Instead drink water with a Crystal Light packet, it’s only 10 calories and it tastes just like lemonade or iced tea.

6. Frozen Treats.  A cup of soft-serve ice cream can have 380 calories and 22 grams of fat.  If you need a frozen treat try frozen yogurt or freeze cool whip; it tastes the same as ice cream or freeze Crystal Light!

7. Fair, Carnival, and Boardwalk Food. State fairs, carnivals, and seashore boardwalks serve some of the most fattening deep-fried diet disasters. From fried cheesecake (around 500 calories), fried macaroni and cheese (610 calories) to gigantic turkey legs (1,136 calories and 54 g fat), most eat-while-you-walk foods will give you calorie overload. Skip the fried foods and choose fruit or a simple grilled meat.


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