Five foods we eat in the summer that are innocent-looking and packed with calories

Summer seems to be the perfect time for dieting. Finally, we have access to fresh Polish fruit and vegetables the majority of which is very light and easy to digest.

Why do we gain weight in the summer?

Research shows that we do less sports in the summer. Rather than spend our time working out, we prefer to rest in the shade (for example, on a sunbed). And in the evening we prefer spending time with our friends, grilling for example. There’s nothing wrong with that; however, our body starts to feel the effects of lower physical activity fast. According to other research, we tend to sleep less in the summer which affects our metabolic rate. And we travel more frequently which also disturbs our diet and workout routine.

Summer diet can be dangerous

Since there are plenty of fresh vegetables on our plates, where do these extra pounds come from? Here are some delicious treats that are calorie traps. The so-called “hyper-delicious” food products are usually a combination of carbs, fat and sugar. They sure are delicious but they are also the unhealthiest ones.

 1. Iced coffee – a calorie trap for coffee lovers

Of course, we are talking about the drink and extras: whipped cream, caramel, flavoured syrup, fat milk and frequently a scoop of ice cream. With all those extras, an ordinary iced coffee will turn into a meal of approx. 400 to 600 calories, which corresponds more or less to the calorie content of a solid hamburger.

Such iced coffee becomes a trap mainly because we usually order it as a side with our dessert, or simply after lunch or dinner. It is a side, not the “main course”.

So that ordinary coffee does not become a burden for your body, choose espresso with ice and milk, without sugar. If you like sweet drinks, ask for vegetable milk which is naturally sweet.

2. I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream

You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to know that ice cream is full of calories. After all, it’s a combination of cream, white sugar and additives. Of course, not all ice cream products are created equal so let’s take a look at some of them:

  • Swirl ice cream – 100g, or a small serving, is 135 kcal
  • A scoop of plain ice cream (around 47g) – 131 kcal
  • An ice cream cone with some chocolate (around 70g) – 224 kcal
  • Ice cream on stick with chocolate (around 80g) – 241 kcal

Ice cream in the summer is pure pleasure, so you don’t have to deprive yourself of ice cream all the time. It is worth combining the ice cream run with some physical activity though (roller blades, a very long walk or a workout later on). Also, choose fruit sorbets as often as you can (one scoop is 65 kcal on average).

What else do you need to keep in mind? Avoid additives: sweet sprinkles, sauces or whipped cream. Rather than ice cream in a cone, choose ice cream in a paper cup. If you decide to have more than one scoop of ice cream, consider it a meal.

3. Frozen yoghurt is not as fit as it may seem...

Is it an alternative to ice cream? Yes and no. 100g of frozen yoghurt is around 100 kcal. If you add sweet extras (sprinkles, syrups, etc.), the calorie content of an average portion can be 200 to 300 calories. And it’s “only yoghurt”...

It is a good idea to prepare that snack on your own, using yoghurt and frozen fruit!

4. Lemonade – a boatload of sugar

We sip it like it’s water, casually, thinking about the proper hydration of our body. And hydration is so important in the summer. According to the Polish Institute of Food and Nutrition, we all should drink a lot of water – 2l a day on average, and even three to four liters a day on really hot days.

However, most usually lemonade is just water and sugar (sugar is often listed second in the list of ingredients) and even one glassful of lemonade can give us 72 kcal. It’s easy to count that there’s really a lot of calories in one liter of lemonade.

How to avoid it? Drink homemade lemonade, without sugar. Use natural sweetener – stevia or erythritol or fruit. Water kefir or kombucha is another excellent and sweet alternative (although in this case, the sweetness comes from fermentation).

5. A cocktail is a calorie bomb

1g of pure ethyl alcohol is 7 kcal. And how does it translate into popular alcohol cocktails that we love to drink in the summer?

  • Regular beer (355ml) - 153 kcal
  • Craft beer (355ml) - 170-350 kcal
  • Cosmopolitan (81 ml) - 146 kcal
  • Mai Thai (145 ml) - 306 kcal
  • Margarita (120 ml) - 168 kcal
  • Mimosa (120 ml) - 75 kcal
  • Mojito (177 ml) - 143 kcal
  • Rum and Coke (235 ml) - 185 kcal
  • Pina colada (200 ml) - 526 kcal
  • Bloody Mary (136 ml) - 120 kcal
  • Chardonnay wine (145 ml) - 129 kcal

As you can see, colourful and flavoured cocktails can be really tricky. So, what can you do so that you do not gain weight from... alcohol? Unfortunately, the only advice is to be moderate. And you’d better not combine alcohol with fatty food and high-calorie snacks (sweets, potato chips, salt sticks, etc.).

Do you need to deprive yourself of everything in the summer?

You decide. Is it worth breaking your diet or is it better to snack on salads and light meals which taste excellent in the summer? We believe that summer food is always delicious because it is so varied. You can create many healthy snacks using fresh produce, and the Mediterranean diet which does not contain large amounts of meat and animal fats has so much to offer. So, let’s focus on vegetables, olive oil, sea fish, legumes and low-IG carbohydrates.

Calorie content determined based on: