This week I received the following articles emailed to my inbox from various groups that somehow have my email: "5 Weight Loss Hacks That Can Backfire" "How to Cut Calories From Your Sandwich" "The Problem with Undereating." Ah yes, I thought, summer is upon us.
It's that time of year when people start to worry about getting "beach body" ready. There's a lot of information out there about what you should or shouldn't do to get ready for the summer months, so I thought I'd share my top 5 musts to get your body summer ready.
1. Water. Dehydration can sneak up on you quickly in the heat, especially if you're being physically active. So make sure you have a water bottle with you when you're spending time outdoors, and drink from it often. By the time you feel thirsty you're already dehydrated.
If you like to exercise outside do it during the cooler parts of the day (morning and evening). Try and stay out of the sun as much as possible during the heat of the day, especially on those record breaking days. Heat stroke kills many people every year (over 7400 people died from heat-related illness between 1999 and 2010 in the U.S.) so be aware of when you and your loved ones may be better off inside.
2. Snacks. When you're out at the beach or the park all day it's easy to forget to eat. Sometimes heat can suppress appetite so you don't even realize you're hungry until you're famished. When you skip a meal or go too long without eating you're more likely to over eat once you have food in front of you. That's why I think it's a good idea to always have some kind of snack in your bag. It can be as simple as an apple or small bag of granola. Just something non-perishable that will give your blood sugar a quick boost.
3. Sunscreen. I love being outdoors, especially in the summer. But if you're not careful you can pay a price for all that fun in the sun. Skin cancer rates are on the rise, every year in the U.S. more than 3.3 million people are treated for skin cancer. Invest in a good sunscreen with broad spectrum protection and reapply often! If you need help deciding on a sunscreen, you can get the facts here.
4. Hand Sanitizer. Germs are a year round thing and nobody wants a cold in the summer. Always make sure your hands are clean before touching your face.
5. Meat Thermometer. Summer is the time for grilling out, but before you serve up that delicious feast do a quick temperature check on your meat to make sure it's cooked all the way through. After all, you want to spend the summer out having fun, not stuck at home (or in the hospital) with food poisoning.
Taryn is a Los Angeles based Registered Dietitian who's passionate about helping you be your healthiest you.