Enjoy your summer and prioritize eating well

Summer is a time for barbecues and outdoor family fun. While summer activities may look different this year during a pandemic, it does open the door for new experiences. It’s time to get creative, try some new things and prioritize eating well.

Stress from upended work, school and social routines can lead to unhealthy habits that result in weight gain. Even a meme-worthy moniker like “quarantine 15” shouldn’t allow us to slack on health.

Now is a great time to try cooking more meals and healthy recipes at home. Explore healthy recipes online and talk with your family about new foods you want to try. This can be a tropical fruit (such as dragon fruit) or vegetable (gut-healthy jicama) or a genre of ethnic cuisine (Greek is one of the healthiest in the world). Get extra points if you try your hand at gardening – it can increase appreciation for the work that goes into our food, and the movement burns extra calories.

Check local markets or small vendors to support farmers and get fresh produce. The vitamins, minerals and fiber from these peak season treats can make a big difference in your digestive health and overall well-being.

When dining with friends
If attending a cookout, you can still prioritize healthy food choices, even with a limited menu. Load your plate first with fresh fruit and vegetables. Pick leaner meat when given a choice and consider going without a bun or choosing whole-wheat.

Watch your alcohol intake and stay hydrated with low-calorie options such as water, seltzer or flavored water. Drink a glass of water before eating, watch your portion sizes and try to use a smaller plate if possible.

Simple, but true
If you find yourself, like many, having developed some negative food habits, it’s never too late to turn it around. The simplest advice still rings true to avoid and reverse weight gain and maintain a healthy weight:

  • Make good food choices – fruit, vegetables, lean meat, fewer simple carbs, less fat.
  • Get more, consistent sleep.
  • Stay active, sit less.
  • Drink more water.

Additional resources
Whether you need to shed a few pounds, embark on a major weight loss journey or want to maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle – resources abound.

Smartphone apps, movement trackers, physician-led solutions which can be surgical or non-surgical, exercise groups and healthy eating classes can provide the support you need.

Gastrointestinal Associates offers successful weight loss solutions tailored to your needs with GIA 180. The programs provide counseling, coaching, support and accountability to help you lose weight and keep it off.

We hope you enjoy exploring new activities and tastes this summer and that you have fun and remain safe. Fueling your body with proper nutrition and hydration and being active can help you feel better and stay healthy.