Nutrition Articles

The Warm Weather Guide to Healthier Eating

Let the Season be Your Guide

Looking for new, inventive ways to improve your eating habits? Warm weather can help you create better nutritional habits. From longer days to seasonal produce, the next few months are a great time to make your diet reach new heights.

Even though it’s typically the smallest meal of the day, breakfast is the most important one because it sets the tone for the entire day. What you eat, or do not eat, will determine how much you eat for lunch, dinner and snacks. If you skip breakfast, you become more likely to binge at lunch and load up on unneeded calories. So how can the pleasant weather help with eating breakfast?

Set up a system with Mother Nature's virtues as the backbone. Now that the sun is out and the temperature is nice when you wake up, eat breakfast outside every morning. Pick a place – your porch, deck or favorite chair – and take 10 to 15 minutes to eat and enjoy. No need for eggs, bacon and all the fixins; cereal with skim milk, a whole-wheat bagel with low-fat cream cheese or a fruit smoothie is all you need to start the day right.

This is a trouble meal for two reasons: 1. If you eat at a restaurant, it’s hard to control portion sizes, 2. It’s usually followed by sitting at a desk for the next several hours. This equates to consuming a lot of calories without burning any in return. A few more problems with a typical lunch out:
  • Lack of whole grains (mostly white bread, white pasta and white rice)
  • Few fruits and vegetables
  • Danger foods (French fries, fattening condiments)
The solution? Pack your lunch. You can control the portions, add fruits and veggies, make sure all of your carbohydrates are complex and avoid unhealthy snacks and sweets. Now about burning some of those calories, again take advantage of the warmer weather and eat away from the office. If you choose a spot that’s a 10-minute walk away, you’ll burn 120 calories just by walking there and back.

Still unsure? Do you usually eat lunch with work buddies? Bring them along! Make a lunch team where everyone packs their lunches and heads out of the office to eat. Better yet, each person on the team could make a healthy, big batch of food once a week for the rest of team, so every day is a different, healthy lunch. Everyone wins.

Keep taking advantage of the longer days and fire up that grill. Grilling out has all of the good foods that come with hitting up the drive-thru; they're just healthier versions. You can have a burger if you'd like, or go with healthier foods such as chicken or fish. You eliminate a lot of the grease that comes with frying. But who said to stop with meat? Add some veggies to the mix. Throw on a few ears of corn, or cut up and skewer some peppers, onions and tomatoes. Cooking on the grill will take up the same time as the drive-thru, and it’s cheaper, too.

Other tips:
From the flowers blooming in your garden to the vegetables for sale at the farmers market, bright colors abound during summer. Spread that variety to your diet with a healthy dose of different-colored fruits and vegetables. The food will taste great, and the presentation will be more lively.
  • Orange – oranges, peppers, carrots, peaches
  • Yellow – apples, peppers, bananas, corn
  • Red – apples, peppers, tomatoes, strawberries
  • Purple – blueberries, grapes
  • Green – peppers, kiwi, broccoli, peas, leafy greens
  • White – cauliflower, water chestnuts
Eliminating soda has enormous benefits to your diet. Replacing it with water would be preferable, but if you really crave that sweet taste in your drink, go for the spring and summertime favorite, unsweetened iced tea. It will quench your thirst on a hot day for fewer calories and less caffeine than soda. Or, give water a shot, but slice up a cucumber, lemon, lime or orange and drop the pieces in a pitcher to add some refreshing flavor.

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Member Comments

  • I feel great when I eat my breakfast and then go for my exercise.
  • Yes, At Chaplain2B, Stevia is NOT an artificial sweetener. It's a plant that grows like a weed in South America. You can't get anything much more natural than that.
    Stevia is all's not an artificial go ahead and enjoy!
  • nothing better then vegetables with fresh rosemary and lemon Bar B Q'ed. A healthy dinner
    Dear Mr Sparkguy ,


  • For dinner tonight we ate whole wheat pasta with pesto made from fresh basil in garden. Our salad consisted of tomatoes, red and yellow, cut with cucumbers and red onions and a little ranch dressing drizzled over it.
    Love garden season!
  • I think it's great! I start on tomorrow. 8/17/10
    Great article. I will have to try the cucumber water idea. I grill alot in the summer since I tend to eat late and it's ok to grill at 10pm. Grilled eggplant sandwhiche's -yum!
    I am eating right out of the garden. I grill chicken and store it in fridge and then out to my garden to pick whatever is producing and into the house to make a stir fry or salad. Sprinkle my salad with lemon juice and a 1/4 tsp olive oil. Add some herbs and my supper is ready.
  • Do not underestimate heat exhaustion..drink plenty of fluids during extreme weathre, particularly if you have a chronic illness, very young, or older.
  • For me, Stevia, and a few lemons is the only way to go...if it's the only artificial sweetner authorized in Japan, it's good enough for me..and so convienent in the eye dropper..fits in any purse or bag!
  • I was stuck in the city today..hungry and so thirsty...heat was over 100 degrees..I got a value small biscuit and one small tender around 5pm...for lunch I had a chicken grilled wrap and asked to sub a small salad in place of chips or fries..
  • I agree, morning breakfast is a great way to start the day.
    Great article I usually eat breakfast at my desk at work. Going to get out in my garden and eat breakfast before I leave!

About The Author

Zach Van Hart Zach Van Hart
Zach is a journalist who regularly covers health and exercise topics.