Karen McDougal’s 5 Tips for Surviving Cookout Season Without Gaining Weight

Karen McDougal
Karen McDougal 

Between barbecues, ice cream and beers by the beach, the summer can sizzle away your resolve to eat well and stay fit. If you’re feeling the heat when it comes to sticking to your diet, just follow these simple strategies to stay swimsuit ready all season long — no sweat!

Don’t Gorge
It’s tempting to “save” your calories for that big backyard bash, but the better move is to eat three to five small meals throughout the day. This will help you make healthier food choices, limit your cravings and boost your body’s fat-burning potential. Starving yourself will only prompt your body to conserve calories by storing fat and burning muscle.

Eat Lean Protein
If you’re traveling and thrown off your usual eating routine, remember: Even at unhealthy eateries where you can’t be sure of calorie counts, stick to lean proteins such as fish, chicken and eggs cooked without heavy sauces or cheese to minimize the damage.

Snack Seasonally
Summer offers so many chances to celebrate (i.e., eat and drink), so retrain your brain to equate “indulgence” with natural, in-season treats including cherry tomatoes, strawberries or watermelon — tasty and healthy!

Sip Smartly
Sodas are packed with sugar or unhealthy sweeteners — and so are cocktails. If you want to kick back with an alcoholic beverage, limit your intake to one glass of wine, or choose a clear alcohol such as vodka, which is low in sugar and has fewer calories than that margarita.

Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate
Having one glass of water in between each boozy summer drink will not only help you keep you from ending up facedown on the slip-n-slide, but also flush out excess calories. Down one more glass of water before bed to wake up fresh and well-rested — and ready to do it again!

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