Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Enjoying a Healthier Picnic

Picnic season is upon us, and the fourth of July is right around the corner. Some may dread the summer occasions because of the fear of a diet disaster. Overeating is one of the main problems, and a typical meal could add up to over 2,000 calories with the burger, side dishes, dessert and beverage. Plus, overeating leads to feeling uncomfortable, and you end up having less energy to move around and socialize with people you may only see once a year. After eating, play a yard game like corn hole or Frisbee, or take a walk. This will help aid in digestion, burn a few calories and boost your metabolism.

Here are some meal swaps that can make your picnic more diet friendly.

Typical plate
Quarter-pound hamburger — 270 calories
High in protein and iron but loaded with saturated fat
White bun — 140
A refined carbohydrate that provides energy but little else
Slice of cheese — 60
Good source of calcium but high in fat
One tablespoon ketchup — 20
Good source of lycopene (an antioxidant); high in sodium and sugar
One cup coleslaw — 320
Cabbage is a cancer-fighting vegetable; mayonnaise is high in calories
One cup potato salad — 400
Potatoes have potassium; mayonnaise adds calories and fat
One cup baked beans — 280
Rich in fiber and protein; brown sugar, sauces add sugar and sodium
20 potato chips — 215
High in calories and fat
Four tablespoons French onion dip — 120
High in sodium and fat
12-ounce soda or beer — 150
Soda has sugar and caffeine; beer is dehydrating and intoxicating
One s’more — 195
Adds sugar, calories and fat
2,170  — Total calories
70 — Subtract calories burned while sitting for an hour
2,100 — Final calorie count

Better choices
5-ounce grilled chicken breast — 120
Lean protein
Whole grain bun — 140
Rich in fiber, vitamins and minerals
One tablespoon barbecue sauce — 35
No significant nutritional value
Ear of corn — 115
Fiber, vitamins and minerals
Cup of raw vegetables — 45
Vitamins and minerals
Cup of fresh fruit — 100
Vitamins, minerals and water
20 baked tortilla chips — 170
No significant nutritional value
Four tablespoons salsa — 20
Has lycopene (an antioxidant)
Water, unsweetened tea, sugar-free lemonade — 0
Good sources of hydration
Two roasted marshmallows — 50
No nutritional value
795  — Total calories
150 — Subtract calories burned while playing picnic games (such as disc toss, bean bag toss, catch, croquet or softball) or walking for 30 minutes
645  — Final calorie count

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