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NewYork-Presbyterian Dietitian Offers Summer Slimming Guidelines

NEW YORK (Jun 1, 2007)

Summer is fast approaching, which means it's almost time to get out those swimsuits and head for the beach. If you haven't been able to shed those extra pounds before now, don't panic – it's not too late, says Wahida Karmally, M.S.R.D., Ph.D., a registered dietitian on the Nutrition Advisory Committee at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center. She offers some summer slimming tips that will help you cut down on calories and fat without too much effort or sacrifice:

  • Take advantage of fresh summer vegetables. Indulge in salads, and steamed or grilled vegetables. Season vegetables with spices, lemon and balsamic vinegar, a little Parmesan cheese and low-fat dressings.
  • Try to make vegetables the main focus of your meal, then add small portions of protein and/or starch.
  • Craving something sweet? Bypass cake, cookies and ice cream. Instead, opt for fresh berries, melon and other kinds of fruit. Fruit is fat-free, high in nutrients and fiber, and a natural energizer. Try non-fat frozen yogurt with your favorite fruit, and you have a delicious, fat-free, low-calorie dessert.
  • Drink plenty of fluids in hot weather, but watch out for high-calorie beverages such as juice, whole milk, regular soda and alcohol. Instead, reach for water, seltzer, juice diluted with seltzer, low-fat milk or iced tea.
  • Drink alcohol in moderation as it contains many "empty" calories, and may stimulate your appetite.
  • Grilling is a great way to add flavor while reducing fat and calories. Try wrapping fish or chicken in foil, add vegetables and seasonings, and grill. Grilling meat allows some fat to drip off, which lowers fat and calorie content.
  • Cookouts with family and friends should not signal diet disaster. Try "calorie banking" by cutting back on calories a week before these special occasions so that you can indulge a little and enjoy yourself. However, try to restrict high-fat foods such as potato chips and mayonnaise-based salads.
  • Take advantage of the warm weather by increasing your exercise. Play a game of Frisbee, volleyball or tennis, take long walks, or swim laps.

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