Facts. No matter what time of year it is, family life is super busy and making sustainable health changes takes a fair amount of physical and mental effort.
Unfortunately the chill-mode of summer doesn’t help our motivation, and it’s all too easy to accidentally add some inches to our waistline!
I think summer can be harder than the holidays! So to help reel you back in, I’m sharing 5 tips to try.
TIP 1: JUST DO SOMETHING
This may be hard for some of you to hear… But the people that engage in an “all or nothing” mentality have the hardest time staying on track.
You’re essentially setting yourself up to fail.
On the other hand, if you can change your focus to “just do something” daily, you will set yourself up for success every time.
Think about having a healthy lifestyle dial. You want your dial turned on at all times. Sometimes our dial will be set to 1, and sometimes it will be cranked up to 10.
When it’s on a lower setting though, it’s still ON. Doing at least one healthy action each day keeps you in the groove and you should give yourself a pat on the back. Just do something!
TIP 2: MAKE STRESS A PRIORITY
I teach my clients to live by a Hierarchy of Hormones. The foundation of the hierarchy is building your life on inducing the love hormone, oxytocin. But, cortisol, our stress hormone, is the 2nd most important hormone to manage.
Summer is so fun, however, it can also make you feel like you’re running around like a chicken with your head cut off because of being so busy.
Stressing that you can’t make as many healthy meals at home because you’re traveling for your kids’ sports? Don’t have enough time for all your workouts because of your lake trips?
It’s essential to address this survival mode stress being induced by your inconsistent summer schedule.
If you are panicky and scared that you’ll reverse all of your hard work for weight loss, it’s time to slow down and take a breather (literally).
Let your mind and body know it’s going to be okay with a strategy that can be done anywhere.
Try square breathing. To do this, think about drawing a square, line by line. “Draw” the first line in your head by taking a deep breath in through your nose for 4 counts. Draw the next line in your head by holding that breath for 4 counts. Continue onto the 3rd line by exhaling for 4 counts. And finally visualize drawing the last line by holding your breath again for 4 counts.
Repeat for a couple of minutes or until you make a certain number of squares in your head. Do as often as you need.
TIP 3: EAT MINDFULLY
Mindful eating, in the simplest terms, is eating slowly and only eating until you're 80% full.
It’s a no excuse habit. It can be done with any meal and anywhere -- whether at home, camping or on a beach vacation.
Don’t have the healthiest meal options at your disposal? No problem. If you incorporate mindful eating for a few meals while you’re away, you’ll have a much better chance of maintaining your weight than if you didn’t.
TIP 4: DECREASE MEALS
Are you a snacker or one of those people that eats small meals all day? Well if you’re over 40, eating this way adds to your susceptibility of becoming insulin resistant because you’re spiking insulin all day long.
Insulin resistance makes it hard to burn fat.
To avoid this, make meal time count and decrease the total meals to no more than 3 per day. And, hey! Less meal planning = more time for a workout, a stress break, or just being productive!
TIP 5: CYCLE YOUR ALCOHOL
Alcohol supplies no nutrition at nearly double the calories of both protein and carbohydrates (at 7 calories/per gram).
When alcohol enters your system, your body always burns it first. That is -- it burns off the calories from your favorite drink instead of burning stored calories from typical energy sources from carbs or fat.
Because of this, alcohol postpones the fat-burning process. Depending on how much you drink at any given time, it could take up to 24 hours for alcohol to exit your body.
If you’re not a drinker -- easy peasy. But, if you do enjoy your low-carb cocktails or wine (like me), at the very least take the next day to not drink at all. Give your body more opportunities to engage in fat burning without alcohol getting in the way.
As long as you drink in moderation, avoid high-carb drinks and abide by the “don’t drink 2 days in a row rule,” you’ll most likely still be able to unwind a bit without too many consequences to your weight.
Hope that helps you get FIRED UPP to get back on track!
P.S. If you’re eating out more this summer and want a quick resource for what types of low carb options to order, download my free “Ultimate Guide: Dining Out Low Carb”.