The standards for nutrition are typically based on the 2000 calorie per day diet. Often, you probably don’t need to eat quite that many to be healthy - most people’s real caloric needs fall somewhere between 1500 and 1900, though a few people genuinely do fall closer to 2000. This is especially true in the winter when your body needs more fat to stay warm or if you are an athlete.
Never ever eat fewer than 1200 calories a day unless prescribed by a doctor or other health professional. To lose weight - in summer for example, when your body has a natural urge to shed the winter weight, eat between 200 - 500 calories under your norm, and get more exercise! Calorie calculators are available on the Internet, and more reliably, in the form of nutritionist health care specialists.
In the summer, cutting calories is pretty easy because once you get your brain on board - your body is way ahead of you! It wants to shed winter weight and avoid heavy foods - so you won’t have as much trouble with cravings.
When barbecuing, try checking out a veggie or turkey burger versus a regular burger. Lots of ground beef is fatty so it can stay moist, versus a turkey burger which is equally flavorful but much leaner. A veggie burger makes a great alternative because many of them have spices and flavors cooked into them - like curry or barbecue.
A sherbet or sorbet is made with less or even no dairy than gelato or ice cream. If you are going with ice cream, gelato is better because it contains less filler, and less will keep you more full, but sherbet and sorbet both have wonderful fresh, light, and summery flavors to offer. Fruity, citrus flavors like raspberry, cranberry and lemon-lime are all low fat, low sugar options available in sherbet or sorbet form. Plus, if fruit doesn’t do it for you, chocolate, carmel and coffee all make amazing sorbet flavors.
Frozen cappucinos - “frappucinos” - are full of more calories than you should be eating in a whole meal, never mind in a drink. Some of them pack over 500 calories, even the light versions still have 300 - 400. Try instead to drink a soy or skim iced latte with sugar free syrup. Sweet, light and refreshing - an iced latte can have fewer than 100 calories, depending on preparation - and will give more of a caffeine kick than the frappucino anyway.
Lemonades, especially brand name lemonade in cartons or mixes, tend to be very high in sugar in order to combat the sourness of the fruit itself. Rather than drinking a tall glass of lemonade, or worse - flavored lemonades that contain a shot of high fructose corn syrup, try drinking iced tea with a squeeze of lemon instead.
Rather than a greasy bag of potato chips, try grilling potatoes, sweet potatoes or veggies on the grill with some olive oil, cracked pepper and a pinch of sea salt - just as tasty as potato chips - scratch that, even yummier! Grilled potatoes and veggies not only have more flavor, but also more nutrients, and less fat and chemicals.
Summer is full of fun and fresh flavors, bright colored culinary adventures, and light, luscious fare, there is no need to weigh yourself down with hearty winter foods. Lighter food and fewer calories equals a more toned, happier and healthier summer body.