Learn how to sidestep summer diet saboteurs, from barbecues to baseball games, with these smart strategies.

Baseball Games: How to Not Strike Out


Smart Strategies

• 7th inning stretch. When 7th inning rolls around, take a stretch and walk around the ballpark. You’ll burn some calories and it will help put you in a healthier mindset for the rest of the game. 

• Water before (and after) beer. …And you’ll be in the clear. Choose light beer for fewer calories, and hydrate with H2O between each brew. This will save you calories, cash, and quite possibly a hangover. Plus, your inhibitions often become lowered as you drink more alcohol, along with your self-control to resist tempting high-calorie treats.   

Baseball Games: Slimming Swaps


Slimming Swaps

Skip the large NY-style pretzel. It may sound like a safe choice at the ballpark, but it’s actually a 630-calorie strikeout. Instead, choose a small soft-serve ice cream cone for 190 calories. You can also look for a novelty pre-packaged ice-cream cone for 250 calories, which isn’t exactly diet-friendly, but at least it’s a slimmer choice. 

Skip the jumbo popcorn (which is what stadiums often call their “smallest” size). This bag of kernels quickly adds up to somewhere north of 1800 calories (yikes!). Instead, choose a bag of heart-healthy shell-on peanuts. You can enjoy 28 for 160 calories. Share a bag with a friend or take the leftovers home. Plus, having to shell them will slow down your snacking—now that’s a homerun!

Sneak in: My Rosemary-Parm Popcorn

For more delicious recipes, check out Joy’s cookbook From Junk Food to Joy Food and follow her on TwitterFacebookInstagram and Pinterest .

How to Outsmart Summer Diet Saboteurs


Now that summer is finally here (hooray!), trips to baseball games, amusement parks, and barbecues are on the agenda. Just because you’re eating healthfully, doesn’t mean you can’t have fun. Here are a few tips for navigating the menu at your favorite summer hot spots, so you’ll be able to indulge without totally breaking the calorie bank.

Amusement Parks: Avoid the Diet Roller Coaster


Smart Strategies

• Sharing is smart. Theme parks are notorious for offering jumbo-sized portions of battered, fried, and sugar-laden foods (think funnel cakes). Since everything is super-sized, be sure to share your high-calorie foods with one, or even two, other friends.

• Spoil your appetite. Eat before heading out to the amusement park. Showing up less hungry means you’ll be less tempted by all the junk once you get there.

• Get in your steps. Theme parks are ginormous, so take advantage. In fact, for extra encouragement, strap on a fitness tracker or pedometer if you have one.

Amusement Parks: Slimming Swaps


Slimming Swaps

Skip the funnel cake. A serving of this deep-fried dish clocks in at 760 calories and doesn’t deliver any nutrition whatsoever, so pass! Instead, choose a 2-ounce serving of cotton candy for 175 calories. No, it’s not going to win any good nutrition awards, but it’s at least a lot lower in calories. Be sure to brush your teeth when you get home to prevent cavities. Your dentist will thank you.

Skip snow cones. Shaved ice in a cone may sound innocent enough (and pretty darn refreshing, too), but the generous amount of sugary-syrup quickly adds up to 250 calories. Instead, choose an ice pop. Look for varieties that are 80 calories or less.

Barbecues: How Not to Get Burned


Smart Strategies

• BYO-Dish. Bring your own healthy dish as a hostess gift. This way, you’re covered with a slim offering…and bonus, the host thinks you’re wonderful—it’s a win-win! Want some help deciding what to bring? Here are some delicious ideas.

• Scope out the spread. Survey the options first so you can decide what’s worth the splurge.

• Follow the 2-bite rule. Feel free to take two bites of anything that seems super yummy (we’re looking at you, potato salad and blueberry pie). That’s just enough to savor the flavors without going overboard.

Barbecues: Slimming Swaps


Slimming Swaps

Skip coleslaw. A single cup of veggie slaw drenched in mayo and sugar can quickly turn into a 290-calorie bomb. Instead, choose corn on the cob, which contains just 130 calories, even with a small pat of butter.

Skip pork ribs. A half rack will cost you nearly 550 calories. Not to mention, more often than not, they’re slathered in BBQ sauce, which is high in both sodium and sugar. Instead, choose a 4-ounce cooked burger and lose the top bun, which goes for 360 calories. Make sure you pile on the lettuce, tomato and onions.Or, try this tasty 3-ingredient turkey burger recipe.