Have Your Healthiest Summer Yet

Science by Temple Stewart, RD

The summer is the time for friends, family and lots of fun! It’s no secret that most people want to go into the summer months feeling confident about themselves, their health, and their bodies. Summer can present all sorts of food temptations given the social gatherings, family vacations, and graduations. We want to help you stay focused and not get distracted from healthy living. Keep these summer nutrition tips in mind for your best summer yet!

– Bring a Healthy Dish: Social gatherings are tough to navigate nutritionally without a plan. It’s always helpful to bring a dish that you know fits within your dietary pattern. You can always fall back on your nutritious dish if there isn’t much to choose from. A large summer salad (add fruit and nuts), vegetables and dip, a fruit plate, or meats for grilling can all be good ideas for a healthy dish.

– Avoid Alcohol: Alcohol provides no nutritional benefit and excessive consumption leads to unwanted weight gain. Alcohol contains seven calories per gram, and it’s very easy to overconsume. Consuming alcohol also inhibits good decision making when it comes to food choices as well.

– Prioritize Protein: Focus on having a good source of protein at each meal and snack. Proteins like beef, salmon, turkey/chicken, fish and other seafood keep you very satiated and less likely to have strong cravings for junk foods.



– Stay Hydrated: During the hot summer months it’s very easy to become dehydrated, especially if you’re spending a lot of time outdoors. Make sure you’re constantly sipping on water, and use electrolytes as needed to stay hydrated.

– Stay Smart Eating Out: Order dishes that prioritize protein and non-starchy vegetables, order salad dressing on the side, skip the free chips/bread, skip the desserts, etc. In general it’s better to eat mostly home cooked meals, but you can make good decisions when dining out as well!

– Plan Ahead: Packing healthy snacks and meals when out and about vacationing or adventuring can be helpful. Packing foods like nuts/seeds, fresh fruit, jerky, veggies and hummus, and protein shakes can be a convenient way to stay on plan. This will also help you avoid grabbing ultraprocessed junk foods in a pinch.

– Control Portions: With so many more social gatherings over the summer, it’s important to keep in mind our portion control when eating out at special events. Be sure to listen to your hunger cues and eat intuitively – you’ll thank yourself later! You can control your portions without necessarily tracking or measuring your food, just ensure you have a good amount of protein on your plate.

– Eat Local: When on vacation, shop local! Not only does it help local businesses and farms, but you get fresh produce and food. Also, this is a great way to explore the area you are visiting, get off the beaten path and get to know the culture!

– Grocery Shop on Vacation: Rather than eating out every meal, consider going grocery shopping at the beginning of your trip! Whether you are in a hotel or a home with a kitchen, buying snacks, easy breakfast items (like a HLTH Code shake), or even meals to cook saves you from eating out constantly and thus overindulging. Added bonus: you save money too!

Although it sounds impossible, maintaining your health over the summer IS possible! As summer approaches, start implementing these nutrition tips into your daily life, so when it’s time to go on vacation or attend a social gathering you are fully capable of maintaining your health goals! Being proactive is key. Simply make a plan and stick to it!

This article is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not, nor is it intended to be substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice.