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Tips on staying healthy this summer

group of adults drinking summer drinks
You want to embrace every moment of summer... not spend it nursing a headache or on the loo. Here are some simple swaps and tips to avoid overindulging.

BBQs, sunbathing days, and trips to the pub... We all deserve a treat during summer, but maybe you’re looking to avoid a sore head or an unhappy gut the next day.

How can you do the things you love over the holidays without overindulging?

Skip to: Keep it balanced | Eat fresh | Avoid skipping meals | Stay active (safely) | Make mindful swaps

1. It’s all about balance


Summer brings endless moments to enjoy a treat. Sometimes it can be stressful to decide when to say yes and when to say no.

Treats are more than just “healthy” or “unhealthy”:

  • Some provide your body with nutrients
  • Others taste good and make you feel good
  • Most give your body energy
  • Sometimes, treats are more about joining in with everyone and doing the things you love

Ask yourself if the foods you eat provide these benefits for you. Even better, find foods with more than one!

Whatever you eat, allow yourself time to enjoy it and stop when you’re no longer hungry. Put some aside to enjoy later, if you need to.

Make sure you’re drinking enough water and getting enough sleep, too; these can help your body distinguish hunger cues from cravings.

It’s important to prioritise nutrient-rich foods most of the time – it's how we can stay healthy in the long run – but who’s to say no to an ice cream every so often?

2. Eat fresh where you can


Want to get more fruit and veg in? Good news: it’s the perfect time of year.

If the hot weather leaves you feeling sluggish, try to keep your meals light and fresh. Jazz up salads with grains, seeds, nuts, and dried fruits. Chop everything finely to mix flavour into every bite (it’ll feel more like a cohesive meal and less like a bowl of leaves).

Juicy, fresh fruit is ideal for hot days. Prepare a few different fruits in the morning, refrigerate, and let yourself pick throughout the day.

What’s more, fruit and veg are a good food source of water, helping you and so many important parts of the body stay hydrated.

Handpicked content: Superfood top-ups to support gut health

3. Avoid skipping meals


Even if you’re juggling priorities or enjoying an action-packed day out, try not to let your usual mealtimes go out the window.

Skipping a meal now could make you snack even more later, as you get hungry and reach for convenient options.

Pack a lunch and some protein-rich snacks for the day ahead. This works equally well for days out, and those WFH, or no-childcare days that feel like you’re just spinning plates.

Don’t forget a water bottle, too. The bigger the better!

4. Stay active (safely)


We all know that staying active is one of the best things we can do for our body.

Many of us do more exercise when the days are longer and warmer. Even summer activities like gardening and going out with friends can keep us moving more.

Why not:

  • Enjoy the sun on your lunch break
  • Take a walking tour on holiday instead of a “hop on, hop off” bus
  • Have a dip in the pool
  • Go on a night hike with a local walking group
  • Play music to encourage some dance moves!

But don’t do extreme exercise when the weather gets hot. Read our handpicked article below for tips on working out safely in summer.

5. Make mindful swaps


Sometimes, it’s more about compromise than restriction.

Take time to assess how you’re feeling: do you need to eat more or less than usual? Or make some simple swaps:

  • Embracing iced coffee season? Choose a lower-fat milk if you’d prefer.
  • Swap mayo in potato salads or pasta for half lower-fat mayo and half natural yoghurt.
  • Make every second drink a soft drink to limit your alcohol intake. Not only does this keep you healthier, but drinking alcohol in hot weather can increase your risk of heat exhaustion and heatstroke.
  • Swap out your BBQ favourites for plant-based or lower-fat options. No need to say goodbye to sausages and burgers!
  • Make your own BBQ marinades where you can to avoid hidden sugar.
  • Swap your cocktail out for a mocktail every so often, go sugar-free, or opt for slimline tonic in your gin.

The final say

The final say

Remember: it’s fine to overindulge every so often. But, if your calendar’s packed, you might have moments where you feel like some balance.

Check out our Gut Health Hub if your stomach doesn’t agree with your summer plans, or head to the Joints, Bones & Muscles Hub for tips on staying active.  

Disclaimer

The advice in this article is for information only and should not replace medical care. Please check with your GP or healthcare professional before trying any supplements, treatments or remedies. Food supplements must not be used as a substitute for a varied and balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle.

 
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