By Brigitte Weymiller, CD, CDE, RD, Gundersen Nutrition Therapy
Summer is a great time to think about how to become the best version of you. Use some of the following tips to help you thrive this summer.
- Sleep: Not getting enough sleep is associated with increased hunger, higher blood sugars, poor concentration, frequent illness and impaired problem-solving. Make sure to give yourself at least 7 hours of sleep a night.
- Stay hydrated: Water is the perfect way to keep hydrated and keeps appetite in check. Add a splash of flavor with fruit juice or fresh cucumbers, lime slices or fruit. Be creative.
- Add Fiber: Vegetables, fruits, nuts and grains are rich in fiber. Fiber helps you stay full, so you are less likely to eat mindlessly. Strive to eat at least 25 g of fiber a day.
- Limit added sugars: Try and eat less than six teaspoons of added sugar (this does not include natural sugars found in fruit and milk). This goal may not be realistic every day but aim for success 80% of the time. Save your six teaspoons for a special dessert. When looking at labels, it is helpful to know that one teaspoon equals four grams of added sugar.
- Keep an eye on alcohol: Drinking too much alcohol can lead to unintended outcomes. Studies show that we make poorer food choices if we have alcohol in our system. A serving of alcohol contains about 100 calories and mixed drinks have even more. The goal is to limit alcohol to one drink a day for women, two drinks a day for men.
- Stay active: The stay-at-home orders might have put your exercise plans to the test. Make an exercise goal and stick to it.
- Enjoy the weather: Studies show that when people venture into outdoor settings, heart rate and blood pressure improve. Take a moment to appreciate being outdoors.
- Gratitude: Find a moment each day to reflect on a few things that brought you joy or good feelings. Being grateful and positive can help you thrive in a healthy life.
Creating a healthy environment around food, exercise and rest will ensure success with overall health. One of the most important things to remember: only you are in charge of respecting your body and providing you with what you need.
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