Be Prepared for Your Healthiest Summer

The summer season is fast approaching and, surprisingly, many people struggle the most this time of the year. Between relaxing, traveling and socializing, it’s easy to pack on the pounds between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Here's a list of some of the best (and worst) options available to you at the beach, bar, barbeque, and beyond so you're prepared no matter what summer fun throws your way. 

BBQ Tips

  • AVOID: Hamburgers with the works (cheese, mayo, etc.), coleslaw, potato salad, the "punch" cocktail (aka sugar bomb)
  • BETTER OPTION: Bakes bean salad (as long as it's vegetarian), bunless hamburger or hot dog
  • BEST OPTION: Grilled chicken breast, salad, corn-on-the-cob, roasted veggies

Bar Tips

  • AVOID: The frozen margarita
  • BETTER OPTION: Margarita on the rocks with lime juice instead of sour mix
  • BEST OPTION: Vodka on the rocks with soda and lime

Beach Tips

  • AVOID: Ice cream, chips, pretzels
  • BETTER OPTION: Sorbet or Italian ice
  • BEST OPTION: Bring some fresh or frozen fruit like grapes or bananas 

Travel Tips


  • Try and avoid the pickable, popables that are common when attending summer parties such as nuts, chips and guacamole and the creamy dip for the crudités. Cheese platters can also lead to disaster eating. Try and save your calories for mealtime as the mindless munching in between meals can lead to the summer weight gain.
  • When traveling, you may want to choose alcohol as your healthy carbohydrate intake for the day. Try and stick to the lightest choices such as vodka, wine or light beer. In addition, when out, try and have your first cocktail WITH your meal because alcohol on an empty stomach can lower your willpower and lead to extra indulgences.
  • The first 24 hours of your trip set the tone for the rest of the weekend so make sure you have a game plan for the day that you travel. I suggest waiting until you’re half way through your travels to have a light meal or a snack like a turkey sandwich on whole wheat bread or a yogurt and piece of fruit. For example, if you’re driving out to the beach and your trip is 2 hours, avoid shoving in a sandwich before you leave. Instead, wait until an hour into the trip to pull your sandwich out.

Heather Bauer

Heather Bauer is a nationally recognized nutrition expert, author, and entrepreneur.

She brings her fresh and inspiring approach to diet to prime time spots on Good Morning America, CNN, CBS, The Talk, Access Hollywood Live and The Tyra Banks Show. And she's featured in the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and People Magazine. 

Heather is the author of two best-selling nutrition and diet books, The Wall Street Diet and Bread is the Devil, and has regular columns on The Huffington Post and USNews where she writes about the latest trends.

She is the founder of Bestowed, the leading product discovery platform for health-conscious consumers, and has an active nutrition counseling practice in NYC, which she founded in 2001.

Heather is a Registered Dietitian (RD) and a New York State Certified Dietitian-Nutritionist (CDN). She graduated from The University of Wisconsin with honors and is a member of the American Dietetic Association (ADA) and the New York State Dietetic Association (NYSDA).