How to Start and then KEEP IT GOING!
This is the truth because we all get hit by it every. single. year. The summer months can often be difficult to avoid all the distraction and keep pushing forward with your fitness goals. The childrens are home from school and require more attention, summer cookouts and pool parties take up most weekends, and vacations can pull you away from your normal workout routine. While it is very important to take time for yourself and family to enjoy life, we do not want to lose all the amazing strides and progress we have made just to let loose for a few months. Seriously… don’t do it. Stay consistent with at least your workouts. While you can’t outwork a bad diet, you can minimize the damage by staying in shape.
Set Smaller Goals – An important aspect of our fitness plan is to set goals that we can achieve and track our progress, usually this means a new program that we can stick to. If we do not change those goals to account for a few more distractions during the summer, it will cause us to feel overwhelmed and sometimes discouraged. Try setting smaller goals that are more easily achieved to maintain a positive outlook on your progress. This way you remain motivated and see the prize at the end of the road more often.
Portion Control – As you attend family cookouts and travel for vacation, it is easy to forget our healthy food choices that have helped us get this far. We see all the wonderful foods in front of us and think we have to gorge ourselves while we have the opportunity. Having a relaxed diet but being strict on the portion size will allow you to try everything you wish and savor all those flavors without overdoing it and taking two steps back. Limit yourself to one plate and pay attention to not loading up on a particular part of the meal and adding smaller portions of more variety. When at restaurants, ask for a to-go container when your meal is delivered and go ahead and set aside the portion you wish to save. By doing this, you can set a limit for yourself and not let your taste buds talk you into eating more than you should.
Water, Water, and more Water – Summer months are of course hotter and cause our body to become dehydrated more rapidly. Dehydration can quickly force us to lose energy and motivation, turning us into couch/beach chair potatoes. Summer time can also bring more distractions for alcoholic beverages which typically contain unwanted calories and dehydrate the body quicker as well. If you do plan to consume alcohol, again try to set a limit beforehand to not allow yourself to overdo it. Drink water between adult beverages to ensure you stay hydrated. Water can also be a big benefit in our quest to control portions. By drinking more water throughout the day, you will feel more full when sitting down for a meal and have less of a desire to overeat.