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How can you use the summer heat to get fitter and healthier? - 5 simple tips for your diet in summer

How can you use the summer heat to get fitter and healthier? - 5 simple tips for your diet in summer

Energized through the summer - that's how you have the power to do exactly what you want. But what role does nutrition play in this? Which nutrients are particularly important for your health and strength? We'll show you what a balanced diet can look like in hot weather and provide you with helpful tips to stay or become fit and healthy even as temperatures rise.

The importance of a balanced diet in summer

When we talk about being fit in the summer, we mean not only having a strong immune system but also having the energy for summer activities, avoiding deficiencies caused by an unbalanced diet, and feeling good in your own body. This can be achieved through a smart combination of strength training and nutrition. If you're thinking about time-consuming exercise and always having to eat salads, you're mistaken. Firstly, with AURUM, you can efficiently complete your training in just 20 minutes per week. Secondly, a balanced diet in the summer consists of more than just salat. To support muscle maintenance and growth, the body primarily needs proteins, as well as vitamin D, magnesium, calcium, and other vital nutrients found in a varied diet.

Watch the video by Dr. med. Dr. Phil. Anna Erat, Chief Physician at the Hirslanden Check-up Center, to learn why muscle strength is such a crucial factor for your overall health:

5 nutrition tips: eating right in the heat for your health

Especially in hot weather, you may lose your appetite or end up only consuming sweet foods like ice cream. This lack of variety can leave your body deprived of essential nutrients, draining your energy for enjoying the summer. To avoid this scenario, we have prepared 5 useful tips for hot days:

1. Don't skip Protein with every meal

Protein, also known as one of the macronutrients, plays a crucial role in our body. When consumed, proteins are broken down into amino acids and used as building blocks for various bodily structures, such as muscles, hormones, and immune system messengers. If you want to be healthy and fit, make sure to consume enough protein every day. The German Nutrition Society recommends 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. This amount should be higher, especially as you age, to counteract muscle loss. Therefore, the recommendation increases to 1 gram per kilogram of body weight for individuals over 65 years old. So, if you weigh 75 kg, depending on your age, you should consume at least 60 to 75 grams of protein per day. Keep in mind that 100 grams of yogurt only contain about 10 grams of protein, while a chicken egg provides around 8 grams. These examples show that you need a relatively large amount of protein-rich foods throughout the day to meet your requirements. Therefore, ensure there is a source of protein in every meal.

Ideas for protein-rich meals in hot weather:

  • Cottage cheese with fruit for breakfast or as a snack
  • Grilled chicken breast with vegetables
  • Vegetable sticks with quark as a snack
  • Potatoes, spinach, and eggs as a light dinner or lunch
  • Roasted chickpeas as a snack
  • Replace butter on bread with cottage cheese, hummus, or quark
  • Top salads and summer soups with legumes, mozzarella, feta cheese, and seeds
  • Spanish tortilla with potatoes and eggs as a warm or cold main dish
  • Milkshake made with frozen fruits, quark, and a little milk as a refreshing dessert

2. Healthy Gut Flora = Healthy Body

Research is revealing more and more astonishing facts about the gut flora. How effectively we can digest food and, consequently, how easy or difficult it is for us to lose weight depends, among other things, on the microorganisms in our gut. The immune system is closely linked to the gut flora, and an unhealthy microbiome is associated with the risk of chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes. So, how can you maintain a healthy gut flora? One crucial factor is consuming fiber, which serves as food for the bacteria. The more diverse your fiber intake is, the more diverse your gut flora becomes, and the better it is for your entire body. Fiber is found in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts, and seeds. To promote optimal digestion, make sure to drink enough fluids along with your fiber intake. Water is ideal for replenishing your fluid levels, especially during summer temperatures.

Learn more about the connection between fiber, gut flora, and the impact of exercise on this system in the following video:

Extra Tip: Resistant starch is formed when starchy foods like potatoes, pasta, or rice cool down. While the body can no longer digest this starch, the gut bacteria can. This process is similar to what happens with fiber, resulting in the production of short-chain fatty acids like butyrate, which strengthen the gut flora. In other words, cold potatoes and similar foods can be ideal for making salads in summer. They "lose" calories due to the formation of resistant starch but retain their satiating effect while supporting the gut bacteria.

3. Take advantage of the heat

Summer is a great time for those working on their body definition. When it's hot outside, your appetite naturally decreases, and smaller portions are often sufficient. By choosing the right ingredients for your meals, you can make fat reduction and body definition easier. Opt for foods that are rich in vital nutrients but low in calories. Here are examples of light recipes for hot weather:

  • Fresh salads + protein source (e.g., lentils)
  • Fruit + protein source (e.g., quark)
  • Vegetable stir-fry + whole grain rice + protein source (e.g., tofu, fish, meat)
  • Soup or gazpacho with whole grain bread + protein source (e.g., mozzarella)

4. Taste the variety of summer with fruits and vegetables

Maintaining a varied diet in winter can be challenging since only a limited selection of fruits and vegetables are in season. However, summer offers a tremendous variety of fresh produce, making it an ideal time to try new recipes. This, in turn, makes it easier to break away from your old habits and incorporate more protein and fiber into your dishes.

Eating fruits and vegetables in hot weather makes sense for several reasons:

  • They contain a high amount of water, providing natural refreshment.
  • Plant-based foods are rich in phytochemicals, vitamins, and minerals that contribute to overall health.
  • These foods are also a good source of fiber, which aids in fat loss and body definition.

5. Allow yourself to enjoy

At AURUM, we believe in the power of enjoying life. For us, indulgence means occasionally having a leisurely Sunday brunch with family, enjoying ice cream at the beach, or having a serving of sweet potatoe fries at the pool without feeling guilty. We believe that as long as you're regularly active, such as by participating in AURUM training sessions on a weekly basis, and you prioritize a healthy diet rich in protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals most days, you can also enjoy treats without remorse.

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