How to avoid summer diet pitfalls

Fresh fruits and vegetables abound in the summer, but so do some diet wreckers. "Barbecues, cookouts and picnics are built for grazing," says Marisa Moore, a registered dietitian and spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association. Some common trouble spots:

Summer "salads." Potato salad, pasta salad and coleslaw might sound healthy, but they can be high in calories and fat. Half a cup of potato salad, for example, can pack 200 calories. Keep portions small or lighten salads by cutting mayonnaise content in half — you can sub in nonfat Greek yogurt — and adding mustard and diced vegetables for flavor.

Cookout spreads. Research shows the more food you have in front of you, the more you'll eat. Look over everything before you start loading your plate. Then fill up with fruits, vegetables and lean meats, such as grilled chicken or fish, along with small portions of your favorite treats. And spend more time mingling and playing games than eating!

Festival foods. You'll run into plenty of burgers, brats, ice cream, elephant ears and funnel cakes. Tame cravings — and beat crowds — by heading to a festival just after breakfast, or have a small, healthful snack beforehand. Scope out more healthful options, such as real fruit pops or grilled corn on the cob, and split less healthful fare.

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