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
Ah, July 4th: a time in America where our differences are put aside (until we get belligerently drunk) so we can chug beer, wear really questionable American flag attire, listen to Kid Rock, and set things on fire/explode anything in sight as a show of respect for our founding fathers. Navigating a barbecue when it comes to your diet, of course, is nothing if not explosive and dangerous. I mean, how are you supposed to know what’s actually good for you and what will probably make you gain five pounds immediately? We’ve rounded up the five best and five worst foods you’ll see at the barbecue this weekend, so, you’re welcome for ensuring you stay skinny in your American flag bikini.
BEST: 1. Watermelon
Wanna stay hydrated while destroying things in America’s name? Best get you some watermelon. Not only does it have like, zero calories, but it’ll keep you feeling and looking great (see: not bloated) while your brother tries to blow his fingers off with firecrackers.
2. Grilled Chicken Wings
Note all three words in that name—GRILLED being the main one. If your host is throwing wings on the grill, opt for salt and pepper over a dunk in some sauce. It’ll be essentially the same as regular grilled chicken, but you can still feel cute eating it sans the shit on your face and hands.
Our boring friend water saves the day again. Obviously you’ll be wanting to hit up the bar, but chugging a few bottles of water between your snacks and drinks will keep you from diving into the macaroni salad or brownie tray. Plus, setting off fireworks and nearly losing fingers is exhausting, so like, be hydrated.
Shit, there should be platters of those blueberry and strawberry kebabs celebrating the land of our ancestors all over and self-respecting July 4th barbecue. Fill up on all this shit before the real food even comes out since we’re talking super limited calories but lots of fiber. Same rules apply for the crudités plate that’s otherwise getting no love. Take advantage of the situation and load up on the earth’s bounty, bitch.
5. On The Rocks
Skip the beer and the mixed shit and put everything on the rocks if you don’t want to be bloaty and farty on July 5th. Instead of your typical 300-plus-calorie margarita, pour some tequila over ice with a splash of lime (or, if you’re like me, a whole bunch of limes). If you’re feeling rum or vodka, put it over ice with some fruit cubes you can steal from the fruit platter everyone is ignoring. Thomas Jefferson would have done the same shit.
WORST: 1. Fried Chicken
As we said during Memorial Day: Anything that’s coated in buttermilk, flour, butter, and spices and or some combo of that shit and then deep fried isn’t going to do you any favors when you step on the scale tomorrow. We understand that America was totally founded on life, liberty, and the right to be obese, but trust us when we say no one wants to grease dripping down your torso while you’re standing there in a bikini.
2. Potato Salad
Benjamin Franklin wouldn’t have eaten this shit, so you shouldn’t either. If you see a mayo-coated potato salad, just say no. If for some reason you’re
dying to be a fatass craving carbs, eat ONE hamburger bun or like, be annonying and make your host nuke a potato for you in the microwave for 6-8 minutes (the poor man’s baked potato). Potatoes have been on our shit list for a long time, so adding the word “salad” to the end does not make it any better.
The summer barbecue is not the place to show off your shot-gunning skills. Beer will bloat you, obviously. Although, if you need the beer to numb your feelings, opt for a light one. Grab a Coors Light or a Corona over the dark Guinness or Amber Ales. Who TF even brings Guinness to a July 4th party, though? You should call Immigration on them.
I am convinced that ranch was conceived by enemies of AMERICA and given to us in an effort to make everyone so fat that they literally can’t fight a war. Whoever did introduce is winning, too (the south will never rise again). A quarter cup—which you could easily consume if you’re standing and dunking every piece of celery into this shit—weighs in at 220 calories and 22 grams of fat. Ditch this shit immediately.
5. Hot Dogs
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: hot dogs are fucking disgusting and they should not go anywhere near your mouth. They are made up of “poultry trimmings” aka mystery meats and filler plus water and corn syrup. Why is there corn syrup in your dinner meat? These are questions you should never have to ask. On top of that, all those chemicals in hot dogs could give you cancer. Even if you can’t think that long term, all that sodium—a Hebrew National will cost you 1,223 mg, AND THAT’S THE 97% FAT FREE KIND—will definitely make you bloat. I know hot dogs are like, the cornerstone of America, but I think they are also to blame for at least half of all the issues that currently plague our nation. Namely obesity. Just don’t do it.