You may have worked your tush off all spring in order to look smokin’ this summer, but months of picnics and barbecues can undo all that hard work if you’re not careful. Here are some common foods to avoid, easy swaps to make, and yummy sides to look for that won’t pile on the calories.
1. Turkey burgers are often assumed to be healthier than beef, but that’s only true if you opt for the lean variety; otherwise, you’re still chowing down on extra calories and fat, and you’d be better off with lean beef. Another smart choice: swap out the regular bun for a whole-grain English muffin.
2. Skip the fried chicken and grab a grilled kebab, which has the added benefit of including a dose of veggies.
3. If you really must have the potato or pasta salad, limit yourself to a small scoop, since the mayonnaise or dressing can pack a lot of fat and calories. Fill up the rest of your plate with healthy sides like corn on the cob and fresh fruit.
4. One guilt-free picnic choice? Guacamole! Avocados are packed with monounsaturated fats, which are great for your heart, making guac a better pick than creamy dips.
5. Drinks are one of the sneakiest sources of calories, but while a can of soda or beer might seem like the most obvious culprit, lemonade and sports drinks are also trouble. Both are packed with calories and sugar, so sip sparingly. A better option: water with a wedge of lemon for flavor.
6. Dessert? Instead of the fruit-flavored Jell-o fluff, opt for the real thing. Berries with whipped cream or a slice of juicy watermelon are both great ways to end a meal, and both pack extra vitamins into your day without the added sugar, processed chemicals, and extra calories of most dessert options.