3 Tips to Achieve a Healthy Balance This Summer

By , By Sylvia Klinger, MS, RD, LDN, CPT
Losing weight and keeping it off can be a challenge at any time of the year, but in the summer months it can be particularly trying when travel and social events quickly fill up the calendar and you can't even begin to think about wearing a bathing suit. With the right tools in place, though, you can stay on track without sacrificing the fun.

What’s the secret? It all comes down to balance. Here are my top three tips for finding your balance this summer:  
Remember calories count. We all love and crave flavorful, delicious foods, but some of our favorite summer treats come at a high caloric cost. Fortunately, now it’s easier than ever to check calorie labels on foods, drinks and even menus to get the information you need to help you balance calories with activity. Another tip is to reach for smaller portion sizes when you want to indulge. Low- and no-calorie beverages, such as diet soda, are also a great-tasting options for those who want to enjoy something sweet and refreshing without adding calories. A recent study found that people who drank diet beverages versus water alone lost more weight, kept it off and reported feeling less hungry.
If you’re concerned about the safety of these products, have no fear. Low- and no-calorie sweeteners have been studied for decades and have been repeatedly deemed safe by regulatory agencies around the globe. The newly released Dietary Guidelines explored different types of low- and no-calorie sweeteners and agreed that based on the science, they are safe for the public—and there is no reason to avoid them. 
Eat more mindfully. Activating your senses helps you eat more slowly and pay closer attention to what you put in your body—making eating an enjoyable experience. I recommend chewing each bite 15 times and putting your fork or spoon down in between each bite. This helps your brain register the calories you’re eating, so you will have a better idea of when you’re feeling full.
Stay active. Exercise is a very personal choice—what works for one person may not be the best choice for you. So choose activities that you enjoy and are more apt to do again and again. Above all, just keep moving—the longer days of summer offer more opportunities to walk, swim, bike and run.
The bottom line is you don’t have to miss out on summer fun because you’re trying to drop a few pounds or stop them from piling on. Go out and enjoy!