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Stay Healthy and Fit This Summer: Experts at The Miriam Hospital Share Their Top Tips

7/5/2013

The unofficial start of summer is here. But with soaring temperatures, family cookouts and tempting warm-weather treats like ice cream and margaritas, summertime fun can often sabotage your fitness and diet plans, making it difficult to maintain a weight loss. That’s why leading nutrition and exercise experts at The Miriam Hospital are sharing their top tips for staying fit and eating healthy while still having fun in the sun!

Grilled VegetablesSummertime Eats

“Grill vegetables that have been tossed in extra virgin olive oil weekly; use whatever is in season. When cooled, they can be kept in a container in the refrigerator. You can add to pasta for a dinner, put in a roll for lunch or use as an appetizer.”
Mary Flynn, PhD, RD, research dietitian, The Miriam Hospital  

“Frozen fruit is a great way to get a cool treat instead of an ice cream cone.”
Kimberly Maloomian, RD, lead dietitian, The Miriam Hospital’s Center for Bariatric Surgery  

“Drink up! Summer heat means we need more water. While straight up is always an option, try adding seasons flavors to add some zest to your drink. Make a ‘spa water’ by adding fruit and herbs and refrigerate overnight. Cool cucumber and mint, raspberry and lemon, strawberry lime, anyone?”
Randi Beranbaum, RD, dietitian, The Miriam Hospital’s Weight Management Program  

“To decrease your intake of added sugar or fat, use mustard (Dijon or spicy brown add great flavor) instead of ketchup or mayo on grilled meats. Mustard also adds a good zip to salad dressings or meat marinades!”
Kimberly Maloomian, RD, lead dietitian, The Miriam Hospital’s Center for Bariatric Surgery  

“Summer eating often is social. While fresh food is plentiful in summer months, a healthy plate is a year round goal. Fill half your plate with summer veggies and a sprinkle of fruit. Put a fist sized portion of protein, add a small serving of grains and call it a picnic!”
Randi Beranbaum, RD, dietitian, The Miriam Hospital’s Weight Management Program

Sweat it Out

“Dehydration increases the risk for muscle cramps and heat illnesses. At least several hours prior to exercise, drink about 16 oz. (two full glasses) of water. During your workout, be sure to intake water often, approximately every 15 minutes. If exercising more than an hour or in high heat, consider using a sports drink to replace the salt and electrolytes lost in sweat.”
Amy Vayda, MS, CPT, exercise physiologist, The Miriam Hospital’s Weight Management Program  

“Plan exercise into your day – especially during the summer, when our schedules tend to fill up quickly. A good way to ensure that you don’t miss an exercise workout is to schedule your exercise into your day and make it an appointment with yourself that you refuse to miss.”
Jessica Unick, PhD, exercise physiologist, The Miriam Hospital’s Weight Control and Diabetes Research Center  

Kayaker with drink“Lightweight, loose fitting clothing helps facilitate evaporation of sweat and cooling of the body. Choose cotton or wicking material in light colors. Dark colors block the sun’s UV rays better, but they also absorb more heat. Don’t forget a light hat and sunscreen to avoid sunburn!”
Amy Vayda, MS, CPT, exercise physiologist, The Miriam Hospital’s Weight Management Program  

“Find an exercise that you enjoy or perhaps an exercise partner; chances are, if you don’t enjoy the exercise, you are not going to stick with it. The summer is a great time to explore outdoor activities like kayaking, tennis, bicycling, etc.”
Jessica Unick, PhD, exercise physiologist, The Miriam Hospital’s Weight Control and Diabetes Research Center  

“Avoid exercising during the hottest part of the day, typically from about 10am to 4pm. Check the weather forecast to determine when it will be coolest. If a heat advisory is listed, switch it up and head inside for a workout. If you have to exercise during midday, stay in the shade and out of the sun.”
Amy Vayda, MS, CPT, exercise physiologist, The Miriam Hospital’s Weight Management Program  

Recipe Inspirations

Flynn suggests making grain and vegetable salads that can be used for lunch or dinner. For grains (starch), try barley, quinoa, hard red winter wheat berries, couscous or other pasta. Allow two to three ounces dry weight of starch per person for a lunch, and three to four ounces for dinner. Add at least one cup of vegetables, fresh, grilled or roasted per person and toss extra virgin olive oil. You can also add sea salt, black pepper, fresh herbs … the combinations are endless.

“You will get protein from the grains and the vegetables,” Flynn says. “Meat/poultry/seafood protein is more difficult to digest and will raise your body temperature more than vegetable protein, so vegetable-based meals will keep you cooler and are certainly healthier.”

Theresa Jerominek, RD, a dietitian in The Miriam Hospital’s Weight Management Program, also offers this healthy – and delicious – breakfast smoothie recipe for only 240 calories!

  • Start with ½ c skim milk and ½ cup plain Greek yogurt
  • Add 1 cup of any berries (these may be frozen if no fresh available)
  • Add ½ tsp vanilla
  • Add 1-3 tsp ground flaxseeds, chia seeds or psyllium husk for fiber
  • Add 1 tsp olive oil to complete your morning nutrition (little fat adds satiety to the smoothie)
  • Add ice or water to your consistency preference