Summer means a lot of things: tanning, day parties, bikinis, vacations and a lot of food at BBQ’s, cookouts, and/or a boozy brunch. Unfortunately, a lot of these food options probably aren’t conducive to your bikini and vacation plans. Lucky for you (as opposed to my clients who go on their honeymoons never to return *ahem*), you have me. Here are some of my best food swaps for the summer so you can stick to your fitness goals but still enjoy yourself.
So instead of…
1. Ice Cream
Make banana soft serve with frozen bananas in a food processor. You also have the option to add in peanut butter if you want a nuttier taste—and I’ll even let you keep all your toppings.
2. Hot Dogs
Go for chicken or turkey dogs instead of pork or beef (it’s way leaner), and if you want the extra credit, do a naked dog and nix the bun. Go crazy on the mustard, be careful with the ketchup, and ditch the mayo completely.
The easiest thing to do is to lose one or both buns. If you’re eating out, maybe places will do a lettuce wrap instead of the buns (if you’re in a city with In-n-Out, the protein-style burgers are my jam). This way you could split a serving of fries without the carb overload.
Be a bougie betch and pick sparkling water. Throw in a slice or two of lime/lemon and you get all the fizz, with none of the sugar (even the fake one in diet sodas, they’re equally bad for you).
5. Chips And Dip
Okay, this is a rough one. Swap corn chips for bean chips for added fiber and protein, and stick to salsa and yogurt dips. Steer clear of like… those 7-layer dips (I know that you know that already sounds crazy, girl), buffalo chicken dips, artichoke dips, spinach dips, etc. I mean, you know those are full of fat. Just because they have a vegetable in the name does not mean you can eat it; their main ingredients are mayo and cream.
6. Popcorn Shrimp
Ok, so I don’t know if this is summer food to anyone, but I love me some popcorn shrimp, so I’ll just add it to this list. Popcorn shrimp would be fine if we can stop at like, five pieces, but who can really do that? Instead of this breaded diet grenade, grill up some well-seasoned shrimp and focus on making super flavorful dips for your shrimp instead, such as a spicy chili-lime dipping sauce made with lime juice, chopped peppers, salt and ground pepper.
I have never met a margarita I didn’t drink (this is not limited to summertime, btw). But here’s the thing: a margarita is a sugar bomb. So my thing is, do a super-skinny margarita. I add tequila, a lot of fresh lime juice (fresh is key) and an optional splash of agave nectar (I skip this). I cut up jalapeños into my margarita as well.
Making these healthy food swaps will slowly become second nature over time; the key is to stay consistent with your changes and make the best choices for your body and fitness journey. It’s all about balance and keeping nutrition first. So many times we focus on food and it’s either all or nothing: either we’re super strict and don’t even eat at the family BBQ or we’re going in and trying to eat off Aunt Edna’s plate. Remember that the main objective of these social gatherings is time with family and friends—it’s not really about the food. Make the most nourishing aspect of any of these events about the time with people you love. Food will always be there, this isn’t your last supper. This way, you get to eat a little and still feel hot enough to change into your bikini.
Images: Valerian KOo, Peter Secan, Louis Hansel, bradley, Sean McClintock, Anthony Espinosa, tanialee Gonzalez / Unsplash