Summer Nutrition Tips 

How do you navigate summer nutrition and less structured routines? Here’s a short summer nutritional guide that you can readily apply to your daily life. These tips will help you balance enjoying seasonal activities and the foods accompanying them in ways that keep you feeling your best. 

Summer Nutrition Tips

1. Prioritize Hydration

With rising summer temperatures and outdoor activities, our bodies lose more fluids through sweat. Dehydration can make us feel lethargic and sick and may also be misinterpreted for hunger, leading to unnecessary eating or overeating at meal times—or choosing food that typically offers a burst of energy and spike in blood sugar, followed by an energy crash and a blood sugar nosedive.

For this reason, aim to drink water consistently throughout the day, whether carrying an insulated water bottle with you or regularly asking for (and actually drinking) water at restaurants or cafes. If you’re feeling sluggish, ask yourself when you last had a refreshing glass of cold water.

2. Take Advantage of Seasonal Produce

Summer offers many fresh fruits and vegetables that taste best at this time and provide essential nutrients. Eating fruits and vegetables can also help hydrate the body and are easy and delicious with every meal. Embrace the season’s produce by experimenting with colorful, nutrient-rich, and vibrant fruits and veggies to throw on a grill, roast in the oven, toss in a salad, make a nice picnic tray, or grab and go for a quick healthy snack.

Look for roadside produce stands and local farmers’ markets where you can pick up fresh seasonal offerings. What’s more, this is a great way to have a family outing or “me time” to support a small, local business.

3. Practice Mindfulness

Remember that an occasional indulgence is part of a balanced diet. There’s certainly no need to feel guilty for enjoying BBQs, big meals at restaurants, and desserts once in a while. Indulging in seasonal treats and special events  is part of the joy of summer. You can plan nourishing meals in the days leading up to and following your summer occasions so that you don’t have to beat yourself up about it.

Adopting a mindful approach when eating or drinking is highly recommended. That is, try to be fully present with the experience, and savor each bite or sip. It’s equally important to enjoy what you’re eating as well as enjoying the lovely people you’re doing it with and the beautiful place where you’re doing it. The more you practice this mindset, the less likely you are to engage with food in extreme ways.

4. Limit Your Alcohol Intake

This is an indispensable summer nutrition tip. Reason being, alcoholic beverages are often a big part of social gatherings and summer festivities.

Excessive alcohol consumption, however, can sabotage our health and summer nutrition goals. It’s important to keep in mind that alcoholic drinks don’t offer any nutritional benefits you can’t otherwise get from food. Alcohol can also decrease our gut microflora, lead to dehydration, increase inflammation, and negatively impact our mental health and motivation. If you choose to drink alcoholic beverages, do so in moderation. 

Summer nutrition tips surrounding alcohol:

  • Resort to low-ABV (Alcohol By Volume).
  • Give non-alcoholic options a try.
  • Alternate alcoholic drinks with water.
  • Select sugar-free options when possible.
  • Never drink on an empty stomach.

5. Plan Ahead

Planning plays an important role in navigating summer nutrition. Planning ahead can go a long way to ensure that appealing, nourishing foods remain available to you when spending more time away from home in the summer. Get family members involved in meal planning and storing, by assigning different recipes and sides for the week while having fun in the kitchen together.

When on the road or at the beach/pool where fast food is the most common option, simply get a cooler bag with ice packs and pack various foods to throw together simple, balanced meals and snacks. Don’t hesitate to take shortcuts at the grocery store and buy pre-cut vegetables and fruits, salad kits, and nutritionally dense packaged items.

What’s more, it doesn’t have to be fancy. Just follow the MyPlate concept to thoughtfully balance and rotate vegetables, fruit, protein, and carbohydrates.

Need more guidance? Let us help.

Schedule your UHC visit with a Nutritionist or Health Coach to tailor a plan that fits your goals and lifestyle.

Wishing you a happy and healthy summer.