(Natural News) People gain weight throughout the year due to various holidays and celebrations where there are many tempting snacks that you can binge-eat. If you want to maintain a healthy weight during your vacation or during work lunch breaks, it’s time to improve your eating habits.
Weight gain is common during the winter holidays and summer, with Christmas feasts prevalent in the former and fatty junk food during the latter.
Dr. Brian Quebbemann, a bariatric surgeon in Newport Beach, California, explains that you can lose weight or stay fit by following two simple rules:
- Always choose the healthy version of the snack you’re craving.
- How you prepare your food affects your eating habits.
Stay in shape all-year round by keeping these 12 tips in mind before you have junk food for lunch. Again.
Avoid barbecue burgers
A cheeseburger is full of calories, saturated fat, and sodium. To keep your burger healthy, skip the cheese, add a fresh tomato slice, and replace the bun with corn on the cob. Instead of using store-bought barbecue sauce, use a spice mix rub to give the burger a boost in flavor without adding calories.
Take it easy on the pulled pork ribs
A large piece of country-style rib with three ounces of meat has 235 calories and five grams of saturated fat. Adding barbecue sauce on a 3/4 cup of pulled pork increases that to 315 calories and 28 grams of sugar. With the bun, a pulled pork sandwich has a whopping 500 calories.
Get a healthier alternative like a skinless chicken breast, which only has 27 grams of protein, 142 calories, and three fat grams.
Portion the chips and dip
An ounce of potato chips contains 150 calories. But if you don’t have self-control, you can eat about two to three times this amount. With a creamy French onion dip (60 calories per two tablespoons), you’re adding several grams of saturated fat with no beneficial nutrients.
For a healthy snack, eat crudité and hummus instead. Serve an appetizing platter with fresh ingredients like carrots, celery, radishes, and sugar snap peas and an avocado hummus dip.
Serve light summer salads
When made with fresh ingredients, salads are the perfect low-calorie food choice. However, cold, creamy pasta salads contain too many calories.
Make fresh fruit salads
Fruit salads can be bad for you if they’re made with canned fruit with syrup, marshmallows, and whipped cream. Make fruit salad using fresh ingredients and plain yogurt. For added sweetness, use banana or melon slices.
Avoid junk food from food trucks
Food trucks usually serve food that’s dried out, fried, frozen, pre-cooked, processed, or reheated. The worst offenders are cheese fries, chicken fingers, nachos, or pizza.
If the food truck has a grill, ask for a grilled chicken and add a salad with vinaigrette. These alternatives will save you more than 200 calories and 20 grams of saturated fat.
Say no to calorie-rich carnival food
Fairs and festivals may tempt you with hot dogs and funnel cakes, but these foods are rich in calories. Hot dogs alone contain calories, preservatives, saturated fat, and sodium.
For a healthier savory meal, eat a plain chicken or turkey gyro or chicken kebab. If you want a sweet snack, enjoy one kettle corn sample.
Be wary of frozen yogurt
Frozen yogurt seems like it’s a healthy food, but it contains a lot of sugar. Frozen yogurt contains some protein, but it also contains more than 400 calories per cup, with about 26 grams of fat. If you’re getting frozen yogurt, have a small scoop.
Use toppings moderately
When buying ice cream, take it easy on the toppings. Ask for a cone, which is the lowest calorie option.
Lemonades and sweet tea are dangerous “sugar bombs”
A cold glass of refreshing lemonade or sweetened ice tea may hit the spot on a hot summer day, but these drinks contain too much sugar. A glass of commercially sweetened iced tea has 80 calories while lemonade has 99 calories. A lot of store-bought fruit juices contain around 80 calories per eight ounces – you might as well be drinking cola.
If you’re craving a sweet drink, Quebbemann recommends diluting 100 percent fruit juice with equal parts water. You can also juice your own fruits and add some raw honey as sweetener.
Eat healthy happy hour bar food
Instead of snacking on junk food like burgers and nachos, pair your drinks with salads and lean grilled chicken. You can also replace your fries with a side salad.
If you can’t avoid sodium, choose options like portobello mushroom or fish burgers or even sushi if it’s available to minimize calories and fat.
Limit the fruity adult drinks
Fruity alcoholic drinks like a Long Island iced tea may contain at least 600 to 800 calories. For lower-calorie alternatives, get clear liquor and a calorie-free beverage.
Eating well doesn’t mean you have to deprive yourself. Make healthy choices today to maintain your weight throughout the year.