It can be really tough to stick to a healthy diet in the summer. If you are not invited to a barbecue, then you are probably smelling one at your next-door neighbor’s house. Or if you are just driving down the street, fast food joints and restaurants throw open their doors to the sunshine and warm weather, hoping the smell of food will draw customers into their establishments. This can almost be too tempting, but fear not – it is still possible to maintain a healthy, low-carb diet in the summer.
1. You Don’t Have to Avoid the Grill Entirely
And then it happens: you are at your aunt’s house for a birthday party and out comes the grill. Do not feel like you have to have a greasy hamburger or hot dog just because everyone else is eating one. Instead, opt for a piece of chicken or some grilled vegetables. And if your family uses barbecue sauce, either ask for the low-carb version or skip it entirely.
2. Skip the Carb-Heavy Side Dishes
When you think of summer barbecues, you think potato or macaroni salads as sides, which are both high in carbs. Sliced veggies make a good substitute here, too, as do summer fruits, like berries and melons, and low-carb dips like guacamole. Deviled eggs are also a summer favorite, and these too are low in carbs. You can also opt for leafy greens and shoots, like asparagus. You can also replace potato salad with cauliflower salad, and if you absolutely must have cole slaw, a sugar-free coleslaw is a worthy substitute.
3. Fall in Love with Salad
A salad is such a malleable dish that you can add so many elements to but still keep it both low-carb and interesting. Throw in some chicken, almonds, strawberries, avocado – pretty much anything healthy and light – and it can perk up what would otherwise be a boring mainstay at the table.
4. Watch What You Drink
While you might want to kick back with a beer or a glass of wine by the pool, these beverages are high in carbs and harmful for your low-carbs diet. Opt instead for distilled spirits mixed with either seltzer water or sugar-free mixers. It probably goes without saying that soda is never recommended when trying to stick to a healthy diet. Go for an ice tea instead if you are looking for a refreshing drink. You will also want to avoid mixed drinks that you did not make yourself and certain brands of fruit juice as these can both come with higher levels of added sugars. If you are thirsty, you can never go wrong with plain old water. Keep it in the fridge in the summer, and it will be less boring and more refreshing when you can sip on some nice, ice-cold water. Though, if you simply cannot stand drinking plain water, add a hint of juice or lemon to spice up the taste without adding a ton of calories.