Although we are right at prime summertime, that doesn't mean there's an excuse to fit in all the greasy foods possible. Swimsuit season is still here and strong, which means the cleaner diet, the better you'll feel running around the beach. Don't let all of those cookout invites ruin all the hard work you put in up to this point. Little changes here and there can help you maintain that hot summer bod until it's ready to pull out those boots again. Check out these summertime swaps-
RAW VEGGIES AND HUMMUS > CHIPS AND DIP
It's extremely easy to reach for that big of chips and dip, but it's extremely hard to work it off later. Usually being loaded with salt, you will become bloated. It's also easy to grab more than a serving, leading to hundreds of calories added easily without even realizing it. Raw veggies are not only low in calories, fats and carbs, but are loaded with your daily vitamins and made up of mostly water, which helps keep you hydrated on hot days. Hummus is a great additive because it's low in fat and carbs as well, but has some extra protein added in.
SHRIMP COCKTAIL > DEVILED EGGS
Deviled Eggs have been known to be extremely misleading, mostly because of the keyword- EGGS. However, most people don't realize that the center of these snack foods are filled with mayonnaise (BIG NO, NO!). You can expect around 20 grams of FAT by eating THREE eggs! Although they guarantee some protein from the egg white, stick with something lower in fat and carbs, like shrimp. 1 shrimps is around 20 calories and 3 grams of protein. Eat 5 shrimp alone and you're talking about 100 calories and 10 grams of protein right there. By getting extra protein in with your appetizer, it will curb your hunger and make you less hungry during your actual meal.
SHREDDED BBQ CHICKEN > RIBS
Ribs can be disguised pretty easily as healthy since it's protein, right? Not exactly. Even though the meat is a dark meat and higher in fat, it's not the worst part- it's the sauce that comes smothered all over it. The sauce is caked in extra, sneaky calories. Not to mention the sauce is filled with tons of sugar, which you probably don't realize either. Grilled Chicken is always a great go-to. Keep that BBQ feel by shredding chicken and MINIMAL sauce. It's lower in fat and keeps that sugar level in check.
WHOLE WHEAT BUNS/LETTUCE WRAP > WHITE BUNS
There's no doubt that Kings Hawaiian Bread is one of best thing God put on this Earth, but it doesn't help that scale get any lower. The best choice when it comes to bread is to toss the white and bring in the wheat. White bread spikes your insulin, which is not good for you body, especially when it's a normal occurrence. If you want to take it one step further, grab a piece of lettuce and place that patty right in the middle. I promise, it's worth it in the end.
FRUIT SALAD > MACARONI AND POTATO SALAD
Yes, most cookouts aren't complete without a big heaping scoop of macaroni or potato salad on your plate. But when one or two scoops are added to that meal, you're talking around 300-400 calories and BIG counts in fat and carbs. Obviously, fruit is a great go-to. Again, since it's made up of a majority of water, you'll get fuller faster without all the damaging calorie count and keep up with that hydration in the sun. You can always throw a little bit of Greek Yogurt on it to keep that creamy feel and add some protein.
DESSERTS AND DRINKS
SORBET > ICE CREAM
Ice cream is a huge go-to because duh, it's hot out, and that's a great way to cool down. However, it's packed with all the wrong things, calories, carbs, and SUGAR. If you're still looking for something sweet and cold, change it any flavor sorbet. It's typically low in all 3 of those things and just as satisfying. Sorbet can be high in sugar but you can find some that come low.
FRESH ICED TEA WITH SPLENDA > LEMONADE
There's no doubt that there's nothing better than sweet lemonade on a hot day, but all that sugar won't help when it comes to that waistline. Iced Tea is a great way to stay hydrated without all the extra sugar. However, if that doesn't do it for you, find a natural no-calorie sweetener like Stevia or Splenda. It also gives you a little caffeine to keep you going through those hot days.