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How to watch calorie intake for a healthier summer

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Summertime often brings with it plenty of picnics, barbeques, and ice cream, often washed down with a cold glass of your favorite tipple. But indulging in your favorite calorie-laden summer foods can cause the weight to gradually creep up.
In fact, a study by the University of Georgia, USA found that while on vacation 61 percent of the participants included put on weight, which some were still carrying around for up to six weeks after the holiday had ended.
To help you avoid excess weight gain this season, whether at home or on vacation, here we round up some expert advice on how to enjoy your summer favorites in a healthier way.
– Make it yourself –
Premade dishes are often high in fat and sodium to help give them a longer shelf life, which can lead to health issues like elevated blood pressure. So instead buy fresh ingredients and enjoy some home cooking or make your favorite summer salads.
“When you prepare the food yourself, you have more control over the quality of the nutrition, and something that’s freshly prepared always tastes better,” says Sabina Valentine, a nutrition expert with the Centre for Health and Nutrition in the University of Alberta’s School of Public Health.
– Try out healthy alternatives –
Think about the healthier choices you can make at summer get-togethers and family events, says Bethany Denlinger, M.D., medical director of the Cardiology Lab at VCU Community Memorial Hospital, such as choosing lean beef and make smaller hamburger patties, or instead grill chicken or salmon.
Valentine also suggests swapping mayonnaise in favorites like potato or pasta salad with Greek yogurt or creating a lighter oil-and-vinegar dressing, replacing salt with herbs and spices, and eschewing chips for crunchy veggies or baked slices of whole wheat pita bread.
– Try fruit for dessert –
Skip the cake and ice cream and instead try grilling sliced bananas, peaches, pears or pineapple. “Fruit’s natural sugar makes the dessert so sweet when it’s barbecued, you don’t need to add anything to it,” says Valentine. – Relaxnews

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