7 Simple Ways to Improve Your Nutrition During the Summer
Summer wellness should be a part of both our personal and work life. Here are some tips to get you focusing on nutrition, and to get you through the hot temperatures.
To a great degree, the pandemic fueled the rise of at-home fitness, telehealth, and digital wellness. Now, as we enter the middle of summer in the US, many Americans are adapting to a more relaxed attitude about taking time off to relax, unwind, and attend social gatherings. As this relaxed attitude prevails, many will also lose focus on the importance of nutrition on their physical health. Let’s dive into the importance of keeping your health and nutrition in check during the summer season, the challenges, and helpful tips on improving nutrition.
Nutrition and Health During Summer
Focusing on nutrition and health during the summer season is about more than achieving body goals. One study shows that an individual’s food intake can be affected by heat—people often eat less when the weather is warmer. While this may help shed some unwanted weight, reducing food intake should be done healthily to compensate for the energy loss when the body is exposed to heat.
In contrast, people tend to eat more during the cold season. A possible explanation for this is the effect of light and how it can stimulate hunger. When our bodies are exposed to less light, which happens during winter, we tend to crave food as a means to store energy and ensure our survival. Conversely, during summer, when the light is abundant, cravings are fewer and less severe.
Having good nutrition through a healthy eating plan remains the key to weight loss and health. For many, summer wellness means staying fit by doing regular exercise. Unfortunately, exercise contributes only 25% to overall health, according to the former director of University of Utah Nutrition Clinic and nutritional biochemist Shan M. Talbott, who said, “On average, people who dieted without exercising for 15 weeks lost 23 pounds; the exercisers lost only six over about 21 weeks. It's much easier to cut calories than to burn them off.”
Tips to Improve Nutrition this Summer
Here are some tips to keep your nutrition and health in check this summer season:
1. Control your Portions
Following a healthy diet does not mean you should completely remove favorite food items from the plate. Consider moderation in consumption as a better option. Don’t overindulge; stick to the appropriate serving size. This practice is a good way to train your body to be satisfied with a smaller portion.
2. Aim for a Healthy Plate
Try following a healthy plate eating plan. Balance the consumption of protein, carbohydrates, fat, and fruits and vegetables. Ideally, 50% of the plate should have fruits and vegetables, and the remaining half should be an assortment of dairy, protein, and grains.
3. Control your Caffeine Intake
Increased consumption of caffeine can increase the risk of dehydration. Caffeine has a mild diuretic effect, which can cause frequent urination. Try to limit intake to one or two cups a day to reduce the risk of dehydration, which can also cause headaches.
4. Go for Cool and Healthy Food
When the temperature is high, it can be tempting to reach for sugary drinks and food items. While these sugary items can help re-energize, their nutritional value is not high. It’s best to drink water or fresh fruit juices that have natural sugars. For a healthy cool-down, try mixing different fruits and toss them in the blender to make a refreshing smoothie.
5. Avoid Trendy Diets
It can be tempting to try out different diets but do your research first. Read up on the possible pros and cons of the diet. If possible, consult with a dietician or nutritionist to be better informed of its effects on the body and one’s overall health. Employers should consider offering a food database service to their wellness program to provide credible diet-related meal recommendations.
6. Eat Regularly
Skipping meals, doing intermittent fasting, and cutting calories have different effects on different people. The key is eating appropriately depending on your lifestyle and what your body needs. For example, more active individuals should consider a diet that includes high levels of protein and carbohydrates to help build muscles and gain energy during workouts. Individuals with a sedentary lifestyle can focus more on their micronutrient intake. A digital meal planner, such as Modernmeal, can incentivize individuals who struggle to plan and prepare nutritious meals.
A healthy eating plan also includes monitoring your snacking—replace cookies, pastries, and cakes with healthier options like fruit, nuts, and low-fat yogurt.
8. Increase Fluid Intake
The summer heat can cause the body to sweat more. Paying close attention to hydration can help keep the body from getting overheated, keep you energized, and functioning properly. Remember, almost all of your body’s systems depend on water. Starting the day with a tall glass of water helps, as well as monitoring your fluid intake—water especially—to ensure you are well-hydrated. Try reaching for fruit-infused water instead of energy drinks!
Implement a Nutrition Program
Improving your nutrition not only helps get you through the summer; the benefits can be seen as improving both your personal and work life. Follow these tips and encourage your employees to focus on their nutrition this summer, and beyond. For some, however, understanding the importance of staying hydrated, serving size and the benefits of filling fibrous meals may not be common knowledge. To better engage your employees' interest in their diet, encourage them to participate in a virtual nutrition-based challenge. These challenges combine nutrition education with personal tracking and incorporate gamification to increase user engagement.
Contact us if you are interested in implementing a wellness program targeted towards improving employee nutrition and health,
About CoreHealth Technologies
CoreHealth Technologies Inc. is a total well-being technology company trusted by global providers to power their health and wellness programs. Our wellness portals help maximize health, engagement, and productivity for 3+ million employees worldwide. We believe people are the driving force of organizations and supporting them to make behavior changes to improve employee health is in everyone’s best interest. With the most flexibility, customizations, and integrations of any software in its class, CoreHealth’s all-in-one wellness platform helps grow great wellness companies. Simple to sophisticated, based on you. For more information, visit the CoreHealth website.
About The Author
Your Friends in Health at CoreHealth
CoreHealth by Carebook's Health and Wellness Team works hard to bring our readers informative and research validate health and well-being blog articles and resources that support your workplace wellness culture and wellness technology purchase decision.