Skip to content

Into Fitness - Avoiding the barbecue blues this summer

Barbequed burgers with extracheese, grilled ribs slathered inBBQ sauce, double decker icecream cones, cotton candy, andcreamy potatoe salad.

Barbequed burgers with extracheese, grilled ribs slathered inBBQ sauce, double decker icecream cones, cotton candy, andcreamy potatoe salad. Yummy! But,these are just a few of the summer treatsI (and probably you too) have overindulgedon in the past few weeks. Enoughis enough I told myself when I sat downto write this article, I better start followingmy own advice.

Our summer season is short (actuallyI'm not sure it's even here yet consideringmy kids wore toques onCanada Day) so let's look at ways toenjoy the season without making badfood choices.

Planning a road trip. Pack healthysnacks ahead of time so you avoid fillingup on chips, chocolate bars, andpop when you stop for fuel. Stop atlocal farmers markets and indulge inthe seasonal fruits available in the area.Cherries, peaches, and apples are betterthan a bag of chips any day. I'mheaded to Saskatchewan this week so Ihave the cooler ready to pack withfruit, veggies, homemade protein barsand homemade trailmix.

Limit alcohol. While there's nothinglike a cold one to cool you down, extraalcohol not only adds extra calories toyour waistline but also can dehydrateyou. Have a glass of water for everyalcoholic beverage you ingest.

Water, water, and more water. Itreally is the best choice for your health.Avoid store bought ice tea or juicemix. It's just sugar in a can. Instead,brew up some herbal tea, mix in somefresh mint and lemons, and sweetenwith liquid stevia for a healthier option.I pack my water bottle everywhere.That way if thirst hits I won't be temptedto purchase an ice tea or apple juicefrom the store.

Summer is the best time for salads.Ignore the urge to go back for a secondhelping of tasty (but fatty) BBQ chickenwings and take a second serving ofsalad or vegetables instead. And go forthe vinaigrette dressing. It not onlyhas fewer calories but also is less likelyto go bad in warm weather.

Allow yourself a treat. There's nothingwrong with enjoying an ice creamtreat or juicy fire-grilled burger. Justremember to keep things in moderation(translation: I should have chosena single scoop instead of the doubledecker ice cream cone). Use the 90/10rule; 90 per cent of the time choose thesuper healthy option and 10 per centof the time let yourself indulge a bit.

Stay active. Forget lounging in thesun-chair the entire time you are onholidays. Plan a family hike after dinner,join the kids for a bike ride aroundthe campground, or throw the dog aFrisbee.

And finally, don't obsess about it.Summer holidays are about havingfun. Make smart food choices andplan an activity for every day but if youdo find yourself enjoying a lazy day inthe sun or eating one too many handfulsof munchies, don't beat yourselfup. Holidays should be guilt-free andfun.

Eat well, play often, laugh lots andhave a great summer holiday! Yourbody (and stress level) will thank youfor it.

Becky Cryne is a BCRPA certifiedPersonal Trainer and Group FitnessInstructor, STOTT Pilates Mat andReformer Instructor, CFP Pre and PostNatal Fitness Specialist, and ETW YogaExercise Specialist. She can be reachedat