More fun, less guilt: Balancing enjoyment and nutrition during summer festival season

Summer is the season of outdoor festivals and concerts where sweet and salty treats can be found at every turn.

Our team of registered dietitians share tips to help you navigate the festival food scene with less guilt and more enjoyment.  

Hold the guilt

Don’t let guilt be a side dish to your meal. Remind yourself there are no “good” or “bad” foods, food is just food. When you ditch the labels and guilt, you’ll be able to choose what you truly want to eat and focus on enjoyment and satisfaction.

“It’s important to remember we make food choices for reasons other than nutrition. Summer festivals are a great time to try new foods, connect with friends and family and enjoy your favourite snacks that only come around once a year,” says Mikaela Jahrig, Primary Care Network registered dietitian.

Listen to your body

Intuitive eating encourages listening to your body’s natural hunger and fullness cues, rather than following strict diets or rules. Pay attention to what you feel like eating – satisfying your cravings can make your experience more enjoyable and prevent feelings of deprivation.

Plan ahead

Before heading out, try to have a balanced meal so you can tune into what foods you’re in the mood for. This can help you make more mindful choices when faced with a variety of options.

Balance and variety

It can be hard to choose just one dish. Sharing with family or friends can allow you to sample a wider variety of dishes. Listen to your body, you may want to incorporate a sweet treat like mini donuts or maybe you find yourself craving something salty, like a cheeseburger, there’s no wrong choice.

“A balanced and varied diet includes fun foods too. Remember, one meal or snack doesn’t have the ability to change the course of your overall health,” says Jahrig.

Get moving

Physical activity can help with digestion and there is no shortage of opportunities to get moving at a summer festival. Dancing at concerts, playing games and walking are all great ways to get in some joyful movement.

Drink wisely

If you plan to drink, listen to your body and know your limits so you can enjoy the festivities safely. Stay hydrated and avoid dehydration when drinking in the hot sun by having a glass of water between alcoholic drinks.  Visit Canada’s Guidance on Alcohol and Health to learn more.  

Access free support through the Primary Care Network

Summer festival season is a time for celebration and food is a big part of the experience. Enjoying it with a balanced approach can help you have more fun.

Learn more about free workshops and activities available through Alberta PCNs to help you better manage your health and well-being.





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