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Make this Summer Heavy on Fun, Lighter on You

The Obesity Treatment Center at CMC offers tips to take a healthy approach to cookout season

June 29, 2016—With the 4th of July fast approaching, schedules are filling up, the grills are hot, and the beverage tubs are full.  But summertime, with its many summer cookouts and days at the beach, can present challenging temptations for those who are trying to maintain or lose weight. 

“People generally know what’s healthy and what’s not,” says Valerie Chames, RD and Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE) at the Obesity Treatment Center at Catholic Medical Center.  “The approach to healthy summer habits is more about behaviors and mindfulness than anything else.  First and foremost, plan ahead and don’t go to a barbeque hungry.”

Chames says don’t show up at a party feeling starved and be aware of what you’re getting into. “Think about what you’re going to do, and if you’re going to splurge, decide on one thing.  Pick the chips or the macaroni salad or dessert, but not all three.”

Other tips include:
-Record what you’re eating 
You’re more likely to make wiser choices if you hold yourself accountable to them.
-Choose veggies and protein and cut the carbs 
Fill your plate with fresh, local produce and chicken kabobs instead of burgers and chips.  If you are craving a burger, cut out the roll and spare yourself all of those carbohydrates.
-Be wary of condiments, they add up quickly
Mayonnaise is a staple in so many summertime foods – from loaded burgers to side salads.  Be aware of how many added calories you’re putting on your plate when you dress up the meal.
-Hydrate smarter 
People drink a lot of calories so think twice before grabbing something from the beverage tub.  It’s important to stay hydrated, but try to avoid sipping unnecessary sugars and calories.  Flavored waters are a good choice.
Summer is also a great time to manage your weight and fitness by exercising outdoors.  “You don’t have to go to a gym to improve your overall wellness,” says Chames. ““This is the time of year to get outside.  There are lots of wearable fitness devices available that track your steps.  You can challenge yourself by setting goals and exceeding them –or go biking, swimming or play group games at barbecues to help keep you away from the food table.”

For more information on healthful living and weight management, or to learn more about the MBSAQIP-accredited Obesity Treatment Center at CMC, visit CatholicMedicalCenter.org/Obesity-Treatment-Center or call (603) 663-7377.

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