For many people summer is filled with eating and drinking, as evenings are longer and more time is spent outside.
One thing beloved by Britons is picnicking, but these meals can often be packed with calorie-laden foods and no waist-friendly offerings.
Crisps, prosecco and sandwiches might be summer food favourites, but they’re not conducive to weight loss.
Dr Marilyn Glenville has revealed the top food swaps for summer party and picnic foods, that will aid weight loss and help maintain or achieve summer bodies.
White to wholemeal
Author of Natural Alternatives to Sugar, Dr Marilyn recommends swapping to whole grain bread alternatives for slow energy release.
She revealed: “The carbohydrates in wholemeal bread are broken down slowly over several hours and so do not give any sudden flooding of sugars into the bloodstream.
“Also, this gradual release helps you to feel fuller for longer, suppressing your appetite and stopping you craving sweet foods because you are not on the blood sugar rollercoaster.”
Milk chocolate to raw chocolate
Raw chocolate is significantly lower in sugar, offering a sweet treat that won’t affect weight-loss goals.
Nutritionist and fitness instructor Cassandra Barns said: “Cacao itself is actually a super food – it’s high in minerals such as magnesium and, particularly in its raw form, is rich in antioxidant flavonols too.
“And if you go for a dark chocolate with a high percentage of cacao, it’s relatively low in sugar.”
Your usual pint to gluten-free beer
Even for those without a gluten intolerance, gluten-free beer can be a healthier and more waist-friendly beer option to choose. They are also lower in sugar, with sugar turning to stored fat.
Sweets for fruit
Experts are now recommending 10 portions of fruit a day, which can be overwhelming for the average Briton.
A study found that a fruit and vegetable intake that is above the usual five-a-day can actually lengthen life span, and also contribute to weight loss.
Ditch the bag of sweets for a packet of strawberries. Fruit contains the natural sugar, fructose, which is a better alternative to sweets that are full of artificial sugar and chemicals.
Bread sticks to carrots
Dr Marilyn also revealed another simple swap to aid weight-loss this summer, swapping breadsticks for carrot sticks.
“We should actually be eating more vegetables than fruit! We’ve all been told told to ‘eat our greens’ but it is actually better to ‘eat a rainbow of fruits and vegetables’ because different antioxidants are found in differently coloured foods,” she revealed.
“For example, green leafy vegetables, berries, carrots, beetroot and so on all contain different antioxidants.
“Increase your vegetable intake by packing carrots instead of bread sticks for your hummus.”
Dietician Laura Coster, spokeswoman for XLS-Nutrition, also revealed some other simple food swaps to help achieve weight loss.
These include ditching refined carbs giving meat-free Mondays a go and avoiding sugar-laden drinks.