Summer's here, people! And that means beach days (HOORAY!). But before you head to the land of sand, check out our must-read Beach Survival Guide. We've got every beachside craving covered!
When Carb Cravings Attack...
Avoid It! Whatever you do, stay far away from the funnel cake. That giant, doughy, sugar-dusted treat contains around 760 calories and 44g fat (POINTS® value 18*). Just say no to popcorn by the beach, as well. Those kernels are typically drenched with butter and/or oil, or encrusted in sugary coating. Even a so-called "small & plain" serving can pack in more than 575 calories and 35 fat grams (POINTS® value 14*). And a couple cups of caramel corn with nuts contain around 450 calories and 9g fat (POINTS® value 9*). Eeeks!
Enjoy It! If you need a starchy fix on the boardwalk, your best bet's a soft pretzel. A small plain one (or half of a large one) has around 220 calories, 2g fat, and 1g fiber (POINTS® value 4*). Then, if you like, cover it with guilt-free condiments like mustard and relish -- or even ketchup (don't knock it 'til you try it).
What to Munch for Lunch...
Don't Do It! Pizza may be a boardwalk staple, but even a plain slice typically packs in serious calories and fat grams. Those wacky pizza places are notorious for serving up the oiliest (and sometimes largest!) pizza slices known to man (not an honor they should be proud of). Hot dogs, burgers, steak sandwiches and other greasy grill options are also serious don'ts when it comes to eating guilt-free while you're surfside.
Chomp Into It! Look for a place that serves salads, and then go for one loaded with veggies and topped with lean protein, like grilled chicken, shrimp or fish, or even beans (such as chickpeas or kidney beans). Then top it off with a low-cal dressing. If the place doesn't offer light dressing, get creative with vinegar, lemon juice, or salsa -- or just tote along your own single-serving packets. Sandwich-cravers should seek out a Subway restaurant location and go for their Fresh Fit subs. When ordered on Italian or wheat bread, those six-inchers each have 230 - 370 calories, 3 - 6g fat, and 5 - 6g fiber (POINTS® value 4 - 7*). Not bad!
Beat-the-Heat Sweet Treats...
Give It the Cold Shoulder! Okay, you don't need us to tell you to avoid scoops of full-fat ice cream. But beware of Italian ice and slushie drinks -- they may seem innocent, yet they're basically shaved ice showered in sugary syrup. Although they're fat-free, a 12-oz. serving can contain more than 260 calories (POINTS® value 5*). And watch out for soft-serve ice cream that isn't low-fat or fat-free. Full-fat soft-serve ice cream typically contains more than 220 calories and 13g fat (POINTS® value 5*)... and that's just for a 3-oz. serving! Even a small soft-serve ice cream can be a hefty 10 ounces -- that's more than 730 calories and 42 fat grams (POINTS® value 18*). Yowza!
Spoon It On In! Sorbet, fat-free or low-fat frozen yogurt, and low-fat ice cream are your best bets at an ice cream shop. You can usually get a small 4-oz. serving for only 100 - 160 calories and 0 - 3g fat (POINTS® value 2 - 3*). But nutritionals definitely vary, so check out our Dining Out Ice Cream Guide for the full 411! And if you're lucky enough to find a shaved ice shop that offers sugar-free options, go for it! A 12-oz. sugar-free Italian ice has only around 100 fat-free calories (POINTS® value 2*).
I Want Candy...
Lose It! Don't be fooled by fruity fakers. Caramel and candy apples typically have at least 250 calories each, and the caramel ones often have as much as 5g fat each (POINTS® value 4 - 5*). And that's without any peanuts, coconut, or other edible stick-ons -- factor that stuff in, and the nutritionals get really nutty! Also watch out for sugar-free chocolate -- that stuff still packs in lots of calories and fat. Just 5 small pieces (with no nuts, peanut butter, etc.) contain around 170 calories and 13g fat (POINTS® value 4*). So skip it (unless you're one of those people who can stick with a single piece).
Choose It! There are some awesome options at those can't-miss candy stores by the beach. Taffy is low in fat and takes a looong time to eat -- a half-ounce piece has only about 60 calories and a half-gram of fat (POINTS® value 1*). Even cotton candy (while full of sugar) is somewhat guilt-free, since it's so light and airy. A typical (and large) serving of that fluffy stuff has just around 200 calories and no fat (POINTS® value 4*) -- share it with a pal. Just don't tell your dentist!
CHEW ON THIS: June is National Iced Tea Month. Slurp up some of our Sweet Tea a la HG (it's soooooooo goooooooooood!).
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*The Points® values for these products and/or recipes were calculated by Hungry Girl and are not an endorsement or approval of the product, recipe or its manufacturer or developer by Weight Watchers International, Inc., the owner of the Points® registered trademark.