Weekly Wellness 0703

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Oh, if it’s time for summer holiday weekends, it’s time for PICNICS! If you’re one of the many folks trying to maintain that swimsuit-friendly figure and doing your best to watch your waistline and your overall general health, there are some choices that you can make to help make those picnics a bit less daunting.

Eating Well magazine has provided a great list of the best and worst picnic foods. Here is a great guide that you can follow:

Main Dish:

  • Skip: A cheeseburger. A quarter-pound beef burger with a slice of cheese will set you back 510 calories (26 grams of fat). Skipping the cheese will save you about 100 calories.
  • Choose: A hot dog is lower in calories than you might think. Enjoy one on a roll with your favorite toppings (with lower-cal toppings like mustard, relish or just a little ketchup) and you'll come out around 300 calories, 17 g fat.

Side Dish:

  • Skip: Potato salad. There's nothing inherently bad about potatoes but they contain more calories than other veggies. Plus, most potato salads are usually smothered in full-fat mayo and will cost you about 360 calories and 20 or so grams of fat per cup.
  • Choose: Coleslaw can satisfy a craving for something creamy for far fewer calories (83, with 3 grams of fat per cup). Low-cal cabbage is also a rich source of detoxifying enzymes.

Appetizer:

  • Skip: Potato chips with French onion dip. A large handful of chips delivers about 150 calories and 10 grams of fat. If you dip those chips, plan to add 60 calories and 4.5 grams of fat from 2 tablespoons of dip. Tortilla chips and guacamole deliver about the same calories. The problem with these snacks isn't so much how many calories one serving delivers, but rather how darn hard it is to stop there.
  • Choose: Veggies with hummus. You can have a full cup of sugar snap peas for 60 calories (0 grams of fat). Add 2 tablespoons of hummus (50 calories, 3 grams of fat) and you have a nice fiber-rich (read: über-filling) snack for just a little more than 100 calories.

Drink:

  • Skip: Margarita (or most other cocktails). Between the alcohol and mixers, a small 3.5-ounce drink packs about 160 calories (0 grams of fat). If you're staying away from alcohol, you might want to stay away from soda, too: a 12-ounce can delivers about 150 calories-all from added sugars.
  • Choose: Light beer. A 12-ounce bottle generally has a little less than 100 calories. Or go for the best choice of all: zero-calorie flavored seltzer or water.

Dessert:

  • Skip: Strawberry shortcake. Just because it contains fruit doesn't mean it's the healthiest or lowest-calorie choice. Between the cake and the loads of whipped cream that typically tops this summer favorite, you get a lot more calories than you may be bargaining for: about 425 (and around 20-25 grams of fat).
  • Choose: A frozen fruit bar (100 calories, 0 grams of fat). Or even a scoop of vanilla ice cream: 140 calories, about 5 grams of fat.

And remember, if you happen to overindulge a bit today, try to burn some of those calories off with some activity. Toss a football around or throw a Frisbee. Enjoy your picnic!

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