11 Ways to Eat Healthier This Summer
Classic concession stand... if you're feeling ravenous:
A burger is a rich source of iron, a mineral women are more likely to be deficient in than men. Your body needs iron to build the red blood cells that transport oxygen throughout the body. Too little, and you may end up foggy and fatigued. (Needless to say, you should skip the chili and cheese to keep calories down.)
Something Different... If You're Feeling Ravenous
Baked potatoes make a substantial base for a pile of veggies, like sautéed spinach and mushrooms. And they can also slash the guilt of ordering BBQ brisket or pulled pork. Instead of eating a standard sandwich, ask for a spud with just a little meat on it—you'll consume less, plus you'll get more fiber and potassium, a mineral that helps control blood pressure.
Classic Concession... If You're Feeling Nibbly
"Soft pretzels are a solid choice, and if you split one with a friend, it's even better," says Shames. Despite the salt, this doughy treat typically packs less of a sodium wallop than stadium popcorn or cheesy nachos.
Something Different... If You're Feeling Nibbly
Pistachios, which are among the lowest-calorie nuts, contain powerful phytonutrients that help fight tissue-damaging free radicals. "And the ones with shells that most stadiums sell take a little longer to eat, so snacking on them feels more satisfying," says Lakatos.
If Your Only Option Is a Fast Food Joint
A drive-through meal can range from 300 to 3,000 calories—so don't abandon all sense of discernment. Lakatos suggests picking a produce-centric menu item—like the green beans at KFC, baked potato at Wendy's, or garden side salad at Burger King—and building from there with other healthy additions.
If Your Only Option Is a Gas Station
Head for the refrigerator case. "Yogurt or string cheese is always a great idea, and grab any fresh fruit you see," says Penn State professor of nutritional science Barbara J. Rolls, PhD. If you have a sweet craving, go for a Kind dark chocolate, nut, and sea salt bar, which contains five grams of sugar—about one-fifth as much as some candy bars.
If Your Only Option Is a Coffee Shop
Opt for an egg-and-cheese sandwich on an English muffin—it will almost always clock in at under 400 calories and has enough protein to help keep you feeling full. And don't shy away from egg yolks: They're a top source of choline, a nutrient that's been linked to better memory.
1. Face away from the action.
"Out of sight, out of mind" applies to the buffet, suggests research from Cornell University's Food and Brand Lab. When scientists observed more than 200 diners at 11 all-you-can-eat restaurants, they found that those with a high BMI were more likely to pick seats facing the buffet than those with a low one.
2. Survey all your options. In the Cornell study, 71 percent of slim diners browsed all the buffet choices before serving themselves, compared with just 33 percent of eaters with a higher BMI.
3. Plan a post-meal activity. Committing to some type of movement after a meal makes buffet eaters less likely to overdo it, says David Just, PhD, a behavioral economics professor at Cornell. In his study, subjects who had an all-you-can-eat lunch before playing volleyball ate fewer calories than those who planned to be sedentary afterward.
Photo: iStock/Lauri Patterson