Every summer, we collegiettes™ are confronted with choices: Can I pull off these cutoff shorts? Will my boss like this presentation? What do I say to that hard-bodied guy? It can be rather exhausting, especially for the season where life should be more about fun than fretting. When determining our summer meals, we must consider our social schedule and have our bikini body ready at a moment’s notice. This can cause even more consternation, but get ready to put it on autopilot. Her Campus has got you covered.
Pick It or Skip It
Hot Dog vs. Hamburger
Hot dogs are a summer staple, but their mystery meat contents create a nutritional gray area. Surprisingly, it wouldn’t take many downward dogs to undo the damage of a single hot one. Hot dogs clock in at around 255 calories and 14 grams of fat, whereas a typical burger is upwards of 500 calories and 28 fat grams. However, according to NutriFit Founding Director Jackie Keller, the highly processed meat in a generic hot dog is unhealthy. “In spite of a calorie difference, hot dogs, unless they are nitrate and preservative free, and low in sodium, are not a better choice,” Keller says, adding that you can control what you put into your burgers. The exception, she notes, are hot dogs that are all natural and low in sodium. For peace of mind, dig into a dog with the closest to “100 percent fat-free fresh kosher beef” as you can find, and top with mustard and relish.
Verdict: Celebrate the coney — but only if it’s all-natural!
Crepe vs. Belgian Waffle
Summertime and the absence of classes render the reintroduction of the classic morning meal: breakfast. Whether you’re hitting up Denny’s or a Parisian patisserie, the temptation to indulge in AM carbohydrates can be strong. At 304 calories and 15 grams of fat, plain crepes are no bargain (and who eats a crepe plain?) Congratulations to the Belgian waffle, you’re not so awful here. A Belgian waffle offers around 278 calories and 4 grams of fat. Topping it off with fresh fruit and a shimmer of powdered sugar won’t up the caloric ante too high.
Verdict: Waffle wins!
Sangria vs. Sparkling Wine
Upon first glance, it appears as if sangria is the enhanced, deluxe version of sparkling wine with its use of red wine and fresh fruit. Keller says that the fruit in sangria does not add any significant antioxidants, and that the only antioxidants come from red wine — so if you’re having sparkling red wine (which Keller advises over white wine), you’re faced with the same number of antioxidants. An after-work glass of sangria will set you back 173 calories, less than a gram of fat, and 23 grams of carbs, compared to the same serving of sparkling wine at 120 calories, zero fat grams, and less than 2 grams of carbs. Overall, however, Keller advises against excessive calorie intake from alcohol and suggests sparkling water with grape juice instead.
Verdict: It’s called sparkling wine for a reason — but make sure it’s red!