The Best and Worst Foods of Summer

It’s kind of a myth that summer means more exercise and healthier food choices for everyone. One eye-opening study found that kids gain weight three times faster over summer than they do the rest of the school year, thanks to a steady diet of junk food and video games.

And while there’s no comparable stat on grown-ups and weight gain, barbecues, state fairs, and waterside food vendors offer plenty of temptation. Here are the summer foods you should always avoid, and healthier options you can feel free to enjoy.

 Worst: Ice cream sandwich

What’s better than two cookies sandwiching vanilla ice cream, especially when the cookies are chocolate chip? Well, actually, pretty much anything is better for you, because this treat usually packs nearly 500 calories and gets a whopping 60% of it’s melt-in-your mouth flavor from saturated fat.

Better: Make your own ice cream sandwiches using lower-fat sorbet.

 

Worst: Fried dough

A staple at summer fairs and carnivals, fried dough is simply nutritional napalm and definitely belongs on our list of 50 Fattiest Foods In the States.

Deep-fried flour, butter, shortening, and sugar may sound like something you can get away with once or twice a year, but keep in mind that fried and battered foods are among the worst sources of trans fat.

While trans fat can be tasty, it raises bad cholesterol, lowers the good kind, and can increase inflammation in your body. Bottom line: fried dough doesn’t belong in anyone’s diet.

 

Worst: Corn dogs

Which state invented the corn dog? Texas claims to have unveiled this deep-dried fat bomb at a state fair in 1942, but Minnesota wants credit too. But why boast? Anything deep-fried is usually best to avoid, but this snack is in its own category, packing about 20 grams of fat and loads of sodium.

Better: Choose a hot dog under 150 calories and 14 grams of fat, and limit sodium to under 450 milligrams. And have it on a whole grain bun.

 

Worst: Lobster rolls

If lobster rolls sound like a lean and healthy alternative to a hamburger, consider how these seaside treats are assembled: Lobster is mixed with mayonnaise, then nestled inside a well-buttered white bread bun for a fat-clogged sandwich that weighs in at over 400 calories, more than half of which comes from fat.

Better: Try making lobster rolls at home, where you can use just a dash of low-fat mayo, put them on a whole-wheat roll, and limit or even eliminate the butter.

 

Worst: Fried clams

A few fried clams are fine to share with friends, but don’t make a meal of them. One 3/4 cup serving of this fried seafood packs nearly 500 calories and a whopping 26 grams of fat.

Better: A better bet is to eat them cooked but not deep-fried.  Cooked clams pack protein and are one of the best sources of vitamin b12 which is vital for a healthy nervous system and to prevent anemia.

 

Worst: Ribs

Ribs come in all shapes and sizes, but no matter how you cut ‘em, restaurant ribs need to stay off your summer menu. A quarter pound of beef or pork ribs weigh in at 288 calories and are loaded with saturated fat, and that’s before you slather on barbecue sauce.

Better: When cooking ribs at home, skip the sauce and go for some Texas style barbeque.  Use spices like mustard, garlic, and chili powder to add delicious flavors without many calories. Before cooking, be sure to trim off all visible fat and keep portion sizes small.

 

Worst: Daiquiris

Daiquiris sound light and refreshing, but their nutritional profile is big and bloated. An 8-ounce strawberry daiquiri, for example, packs more calories than a double-patty hamburger and is loaded with fat and sugar!  There are plenty of healthier drinks to enjoy poolside, with or without alcohol.

 

Worst: Macaroni and potato salad

While we still love eating mac and potato salad throughout the summer, fattening mayonnaise is unfortunately what makes both taste so good.

Better: A better bet is to swap in low-fat mayo or heart-healthy unsaturated fats, like olive oil.

 

Worst: Onion rings

While onion rings don’t sound like the worst health choice you can make, once onions are dipped in flour and eggs, thrown into a deep fryer, then salted, the outcome is a diet disaster.

Better: Coat sliced onions with egg whites and a mixture of grated Parmesan cheese, whole-wheat flour, and panko breadcrumbs. Spritz with cooking spray and bake in a 450 degree oven for about 15 minutes.  Crispy, healthy, satisfying…you’ll never eat deep-fried onions rings again!

 

Best: Corn on the cob

Corn on the cob without butter or salt is a high-fiber, low-calorie food. We love shaving some off the cob into salads, using it for healthy salsas, and grilling it — just don’t overdo the butter!

Tip: Choose the yellow variety over the white kind for added vitamin A.

 

Best: Watermelon

Popping some watermelon into your mouth is a great way to rehydrate after a long day in the sun.  True to its name, watermelon is over 90% water. It’s also an even better source of cancer-fighting lycopene than raw tomatoes. At just 44 calories a cup, there’s no reason not to bite into this summery fruit.

 

Best: Fresh iced tea

Tea has zero calories, loads of antioxidants, and may even help you lose weight. To get the nutritional benefits of tea, you really need to make it yourself and not go for the bottled variety.  Black or green, if you make your own using a tea bag, iced is just as beneficial as hot.

 

Best: Fruit salad

Summer is peak season for colorful berries and stone fruit, and fruit eaters tend to weigh less than people who don’t enjoy fruit!

If that’s not enough to get you to the farmer’s market, red, purple and blue fruit are potent sources of antioxidants and vitamins, and some, especially berries, pack up to one-third of your daily fiber needs per serving.

 

Best: Gazpacho

In the summer months, the last thing you want is to stir a pot over a hot stove and tuck into a steaming bowl of soup. Chilled soups are a perfect solution—for many of our recipes all you need is a bowl to prepare it!

Gazpacho is filled with healthy ingredients like bell peppers, tomatoes, and cucumbers, which make it a light yet flavorful soup.

 

Best: Grilled chicken kabobs

Easy to throw on the barbecue, chicken kabobs are packed with protein but low in calories, fat, and carbs.

 

When you add veggies (like zucchini, bell peppers, and squash) to your skewer, you’ll add delicious, summery flavors and loads of antioxidants.

Vitamin C-packed red bell peppers are a great addition, as they get even sweeter on the grill and a half-cup provides only 14 calories. Another option: Dip chicken skewers into a yogurt based sauce, like tzatziki.

 

Best: Zucchini

Raw, grilled, rolled, sliced or diced, zucchini is the perfect summer veggie. At only 20 calories per cup, it has zero fat and cholesterol, and 35% of your daily-recommended intake of vitamin C.

 

Best: Shrimp cocktail

Great for a mid-afternoon snack, as an appetizer at a party, or for a light lunch, shrimp are a high-protein and low-calorie way to get energized. They provide about 14% of your daily-recommended iron intake, and a 3.5 ounce serving is less than 100 calories.

How Long Do You Have to Work Out to See Results?

The truth is, the weight didn’t come on overnight, so it is going to take you longer to see the results you want to see than you think it will. The good news is that by eating healthy and exercising, you can maximize fat loss and produce the results you want to get your best body ever.

 

Measuring & Tracking your Results

The scale is not the only way to measure your training results. In fact, the scale is likely one of the worst ways to measure your results. If you are weighing yourself everyday to see if you lost a pound, you are only fooling yourself. Water retention can cause your body weight to fluctuate by 2-3 pounds daily!

 

Best Methods to Track Results

Take pictures: This is my personal favorite when it comes to tracking your workout results.Take pictures on a weekly basis, and the weekly pictures will keep you motivated in a couple of ways. If you know you have to take pictures on Sunday, you’re less likely to skip workouts or cheat on your diet. You will also see the weekly changes in your body and have the proof that your workouts are doing their job.  This can be a real motivational factor, and make you stick with it, which is the most important part of a workout & diet plan…  sticking with it.

Tape measure: Taking body part measurements will also let you know your body is getting smaller, even if your weight goes up.  This means you are building muscle while losing weight.

How your clothes fit: If you’re trying to lose weight, fitting into clothing that you once outgrew not only proves you lost weight, it also feels like a really great accomplish. There’s than better than having pants that used to feel snug slide off of your hips.

Go to the doctor: Exercising and eating better will not only affect the way you look on the outside. Have your blood pressure and cholesterol levels checked to see how much lower they are now from when you were sedentary. You just might be amazed by the improvement.

Improvement in daily activities: Sometimes you have the option to take the stairs or the elevator.  Always choose the stairs. After working out for a few weeks, you’ll be absolutely amazed at how your cardiovascular endurance has improved!

The mirror: Seeing is believing, and the mirror is a fantastic tool to measure your workout results.

Now that you know a few ways to track and measure your results, let’s take a look at how long it takes people on average to gain muscle, lose weight, improve cardiovascular endurance, and improve flexibility.

 

How Long Does It Take to Improve Flexibility?

Everyone can benefit from increased flexibility; it lowers your risk of injury and has been linked to increased life expectancy. Flexibility will increase greatly when you work at it, and most people report feeling more flexible within just 7 days!

 

How Long Does it Take to Lose Weight?

When you first start working out and eating better, you will likely see a big loss of weight within the first week as your healthy diet cleans out the toxins and water weight you have likely been holding on to. The most weight you ever want to be losing per week is about two pounds. More than this and there is more probability of muscle loss too.

One to two pounds of weight loss is optimal – if you are losing more than this amount of weight in a week, you are not as likely to keep it off. People who drop a ton of weight quickly frequently put it back on just as fast.

 

How Long Does it Take to Gain Muscle?

This question is much more difficult to answer and depends a lot on your genetics. But for the most part, men can expect to gain two to three pounds of lean muscle mass monthly with proper exercise and nutrition.

Women won’t put muscle mass on as fast as men do, as simply do not have high enough testosterone levels to build muscle quickly. Women can expect to add about one pound of lean muscle a month while weightlifting and eating healthy. Hear that ladies? You really have no reason to worry about building big bulky muscles!

 

How Long Does it Take to Improve Cardiovascular Health?

The improvement you feel in cardiovascular health once you begin exercising is my favorite. Cardiovascular health improvement comes quickly once you begin to work out on a consistent basis. Most people will see an improvement in cardiovascular health within one week of starting their workout program and very noticeable improvement within just three weeks time.

 

When Will Other People Notice My Results

If you are exercising regularly and paying attention to diet, other people will start noticing a change in you around the three week to one month mark. After about three months, you will start getting questions about what you’ve been doing, and that’s when people will really begin to compliment you!

 

Conclusion

Everyone and every body is different. Some people lose weight faster than others, some people put weight on more easily, some people build muscle much easier than others, some have super fast metabolisms, and some people are hard gainers in general. The most important thing to remember is that, in the end, it doesn’t matter who you are or what your metabolism is like, you can achieve your weight loss and fitness goals by taking it one day at a time and sticking with it!

Remember, the scale isn’t the best measurement of fitness success.

My Greatest Achievement

May is a very important month for me, because it’s a reminder of my greatest achievement.  On May 15th, 1969, my son William Deihl was born.  After my husband, Joe, passed away, Bill stepped up as a leader and the key innovator of VitaMist, and I couldn’t be more proud of him.  He has helped expand our company’s forward focused vision to new horizons.

Every mother hopes to see her child succeed in life.  This is achieved through encouraging our children to take risks, and to have the strong will and conviction to succeed.  The love and concern that a mother (or father) has for her children inspires her to impart wisdom upon them by pulling from her own successes and failures in life.  I’ve tried my whole life to impart this wisdom, and there is nothing more satisfying than to see my son take what he’s learned, and run with it.

In his life so far, Bill had earned a Masters in Nutritional Science and a Ph.D. In Metaphysics. He’s traveled around the country for years as the nutrition expert, and was a even a guest teacher for bariatric doctors and nurses at Princeton University. He has combined his knowledge of nutrition, his background in Traditional Chinese medicine, and his natural talent as a salesman and public speaker, and focused all of these skills on helping our distributors succeed.  He puts his whole heart into it, and it shows.  From his daily conference calls with VitaMist distributors and the long weekends working on formulations, to his time on the road attending conferences and television interviews, Bill never stops working.  He never stops moving forward..

As the President of VitaMist Ltd.  and the Vice President of Mayor Pharmaceutical Labs, he has been the person that I rely on the most.  What more could a mother ask for?  So as we approach Bill’s birthday this month, I am yet again reminded that my son is my greatest achievement.

Dear son, I want you to know

Day after day, as you grow

Lose your fears, not your confidence

Make meaning of, your existence

Say goodbye, to every worry

Live life king size and be carefree

These are words, that may be few

But to live well, they will guide you

I love you

-Anonymous

Life is a stairway that need to be climbed through and through.  Watching my son make that climb has been more fulfilling than I could have imagined.