Run, run, as fast as you can; far away from the ice-cream van

Summer time and ice-cream may go together but feeling bloated is a side effect you could do without

If you cannot resist the pull of an ice-cream snack, opt instead for an ice lolly, which will hit the spot without hitting your waist. Photograph: Thinkstock

If you cannot resist the pull of an ice-cream snack, opt instead for an ice lolly, which will hit the spot without hitting your waist. Photograph: Thinkstock

Mon, Jul 14, 2014, 14:39

Q It’s getting warm and it’s actually easier to motivate myself to get out running in the sunshine, but at the same time I feel more bloated and swollen, and hungrier than ever.

Plus, it doesn’t help that the kids all fancy an ice-cream just at that tea-time hour when I am weak and hungry, and I know I am drinking too many ice-cold fruit smoothies than is healthy. But they are so delicious.

And my husband fires up the barbecue at any excuse.

I am running more than ever but I feel as though I am in worse shape than I was during the winter. This is not fair. Grit Doctor, please help.

Siobhán

A I totally get where you are coming from. I was feeling exactly the same myself, tucking into an ice-cream on a daily basis and feeling as though I was carrying around an extra spare tyre as a result. And I’m married to an Australian who treats the barbecue like a second skin.

There is no escaping it – all year round. So I feel your pain.

A very obvious calorie-saving change you could implement easily, if you simply cannot resist the pull of the ice-cream van, is to opt instead for an ice lolly, which will hit the spot without hitting your waist.

The grittier option is, of course, to Just. Say. No. For what it’s worth, I have been trying to alternate between a lolly and No, and enjoying an ice-cream as a weekend treat.

The key to making these choices easier is keeping our sugar levels consistent throughout the day by eating good, wholesome, nutritious meals.

It sounds obvious, but we mums tend to think of ourselves last and rarely sit down to a meal or spend time considering our dietary needs, worrying only that our kids are properly fed, while absentmindedly shovelling a leftover fish finger into our mouth at the kitchen sink. So try to ensure that your food needs are being met as well as your kids’.

Desperate craving

Don’t skimp on your lunch because if you do, having been up since 6am and exhausted, it is going to bite you in the face at 4pm with a desperate craving for that ice-cream.

Always have a hearty breakfast and lunch, even if you don’t feel like it, and include protein, as it keeps you fuller for longer.

If, despite being mindful about these meals and making the necessary adjustments to your diet, you still find you must have something to eat at tea time, carry an apple or whatever healthy snack you like, one that you can cart about easily, and that would be a satisfactory alternative to that ice-cream.