10 Ways to Get Healthy This Summer
Sweet, sweet summertime! Who doesn’t love summer, right? Long evenings outside enjoying the warmth, cocktails on the deck, picnics in the park and trips to the beach. Summertime is full of fun and food. With everything going on, how can summer be the time to get healthy? Check out my 10 tips to not only staying healthy this summer but using the longer days and increased social time as a way to lose weight and get healthy.
1. Walk More Steps
If you don’t count steps then you should. I think everyone should have some kind of fun Fitbit or device to help motivate them to move more. It’s unfortunate that we need this but most often people don’t realize how sedentary they truly are until they take the time to be accountable. Take advantage of the longer days to get out and walk – both morning and night. If you have a dog they will also thank you for the extra time they get to spend with you and or course they benefit from the exercise too. Walk in the morning when its quiet and cooler, walk after lunch with co-workers or take a stroll in the evening with a friend.
2. Stay Hydrated
In the summer we need more fluids and when we don’t get them we actually retain water and feel bloated. Drink more throughout the day to reduce bloating and help with over eating. Avoid filling up on sugary drinks like Gatorade or soda, both of which are full of sugar and chemicals. Instead, try making yourself some organic iced tea or fresh squeezed lemonade or orangeade and add some natural stevia for sweetener. I promise drinking more will not only make you less bloated but will help shed pounds as you tend to eat less. Being hydrated also helps keep you focused and energized.
3. Find a Workout Buddy
The best thing I ever did for myself in college was find a workout buddy. We made a pack to meet and workout together at specific times throughout the week. Being accountable and knowing someone is waiting for you keeps you from finding excuses to back out. It’s easy to say “I’ll do it later” if its just you that you have to answer to but if your buddy is waiting you feel the pressure to make the appointment. If you can’t find a workout buddy than hire a trainer where you also have to be accountable to a set time and place for your workout.
4. Choose a Lighter Cocktail
Drinking alcohol everyday WILL create a weight issue. Alcohol adds to weight gain in many ways including excess caloric intake, promoting fat storage while the liver works to break it down and breaking down our inhibitions so we tend to eat more. Triple whammy! But what would summer be without that occasional cocktail on the deck or on vacation right? When you do indulge, drink smart to keep the calories and sugar down. If you like wine choose a Proseco or Rose for a lighter choice. If you prefer beer, try one of the super light varieties like Beck’s Premier Light for a rich taste without all the calories. For more light cocktail ideas, check out my post here – How To Keep Summertime Cocktails Off Your Waistline.
5. Take Your Cardio Outside
Americans spend a lot of time in a gym working out but we can move and enjoy exercise just as well outside, especially in summer. Days are longer and there is plenty of time for an after work run, walk or bike ride in the park. Take the family along and everyone gets more exercise while avoiding long evenings in front of the screen. On vacation, the first thing we do is order our bikes for the week. The car is parked and we bike or walk everywhere. This extra exercise helps to offset the “extras” from vacation.
6. Make Workouts Quality Over Quantity
So often I find my clients are on an eliptical for 45 minutes reading a book or watching a television show. Working out long and slow is good for everyday movement but to really boost metabolism and change your health you need to kick it into high gear with some intervals. Of course, be sure your doctor has cleared you for exercise before starting any program. Once you are cleared, check out this Peak 8 exercise for a quick but intense workout that will help you shed pounds without spending hours at the gym.
7. Work In More Vegetables
One thing I see missing in almost all my clients logs are vegetables at all meals. This time of year the vegetables are beautiful and abundant and fresh! Take advantage and include them in all your meals for extra fiber and nutrition. Starting with breakfast try including some cooked greens to your omelette or add some greens to your protein smoothie. At lunch make yourself a huge tossed salad and include all the fresh seasonal vegetables you can find from tomatoes, peppers, green beans, cucumbers or whatever your favorites. At dinner try adding some summer dishes like Summer Squash Delight or make it a vegetarian meal with my Zucchini Lasagna with Cashew Cheese. Aim for 75% of your plate as vegetables and your health will improve as your waistline decreases.
8. Detox During the Week
Weekends anytime can be hard on our waistline but summer weekends are the worst with extra parties and events that all include alcohol and lots of food. You should always do your best to choose wisely even on weekends but it’s going to happen that you eat out more or just eat more in general during these more social days. Make up for the weekend by following BodyDesigns Two-Week Detox Plan during the week. For optimal weight control and health, jumping right back into a healthy eating pattern can make up for any binges that happened over the weekend. The key is to have planned for it in advance so that you are ready with the right foods come Monday morning.
9. Get Your Sleep
How often do you find yourself looking at the clock and realizing that it’s already 9:30 and you haven’t even begun to wind down for the evening? Longer days means it’s light out later and and we tend to do more and rest less. Sleep is really important however for not just our health but for maintain weight. When we don’t get enough sleep we tend to disrupt hormones that increase appetite causing us to over eat the next day. Sleep is also essential to recover from our workouts and keep our immunity high. To make sure you sleep well, use good sleep hygiene with a routine each night including some down time like reading a book and make sure your room is cool and dark.
10. Keep Portions Small
Indulgences are going to happen. Again, summertime is just full of these opportunities to enjoy food and drink. To help maintain your weight keep the portions small. Whether you order a child’s cup of ice cream or take a to go box for half your meal at a restaurant, keeping portions small is half the battle when it comes to weight. When drinking alcohol consider a small drink and either fill it with water half way through or drink a glass of water between servings. At a buffet line always walk the entire line first to see what is available than go back and make your plate. Knowing what’s up ahead will help you to not only choose wisely but and take smaller portions to save more room to try a few different items. For a small nightly “chocolate’ treat that won’t ruin your clean eating plan try making my Dark Carob Crisp Candy – one or two of these will hit the spot when you are craving chocolate or sweet.
Are you looking to transform your health? Mary works with clients all over the country developing personalized nutrition and exercise plans for weight loss and health. If you’re ready to get started on your journey to health and wellness contact her today!