6 Ways to Eat Healthy at Summer Festivals - Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare

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Published on July 18, 2016

6 Ways to Eat Healthy at Summer Festivals

When the weather is warm and the days are long, it’s time to round up your family and friends and head to a festival or fair. But if you’re trying to watch your weight, being surrounded by tempting foods can be a challenge.

“Some of the foods we consume at festivals may exceed our recommended calorie intake for an entire day,” says Courtney Meidenbauer, RD, a registered dietitian with Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare. “Many people around you may engage in unhealthy choices, so it’s important to keep your weight loss and health goals in mind.”

Meidenbauer offers six simple rules to avoid dietary disaster:

  1. Eat before you go. Whether you go to a fair or festival for a few hours or the entire day, try to eat some healthy complex carbs and lean protein that will give you energy for a long day outside on your feet.
  2. Stay hydrated. Water, unsweetened iced tea and iced coffee are good drink options. Sweetened lemonade, sodas and alcoholic drinks are high in calorie and sugar.
  3. Be a picky eater. Take the time to check out all the food vendors and their offerings and don’t simply eat whatever you happen to see first. Choose vegetables over chips or fries and grilled or roasted meat over fried.
  4. Sit down to eat. Mindless eating is a major pitfall of outdoor festivals. Pay attention to what you’re eating and you’ll be less likely to overindulge.
  5. Share. Sharing a treat with your friends and family is a great way to sample some of the less-than-healthy treats without regret.
  6. Move. Dance to the music and walk, walk, walk. Save money by parking in a safe place far away and walk to the fest grounds. Bring a pedometer or fitness tracker and marvel at your activity.

Although festivals are fun, eventually you have to return to reality. You will feel so much better after the weekend if you remind yourself of your goals and stick to them, but remember it’s okay to indulge just a little and enjoy it.

Learn more about nutrition and our Nutrition Counseling services.

6 Ways to Eat Healthy at Summer Festivals