School is ending, temperatures are climbing and summer vacations are getting planned. That can only mean one thing – summer is almost here! If you are like most, just the thought of pulling out our shorts and bathing suits can make us run for the hills. But don’t despair! Here are five things you can do to help ease the transition into summer days!
1. Just move!
You don’t have to spend two hours in the gym to make changes. Whether your schedule is tight or you just aren’t feeling it, force yourself to get outside and start walking. Don’t get stuck in the “all or nothing” mindset with working out. If you only have twenty or thirty minutes, just get out and walk! Not only will those steps add up over time, but it will clear your head and make you ready to take on the day!
2. Water! Water! Water!
As the weather changes, you would be surprised how many people are in a constant state of dehydration. Aim to be drinking half of your body weight as a start. If you work out you need to add to that. And remember – caffeinated or alcoholic beverages dehydrate you even further! It is NOT intuitive, but being dehydrated makes you retain water. Your body will hold on to its’ water stores if you are not taking in enough. So drink up! Your body will perform better and you will feel leaned out.
3. Eating carbs are fine. But not alone!
To help keep blood sugar and insulin levels stable, always pair your carbohydrates with a protein or a fat. Carbs are pretty much anything that isn’t meat and nuts. My favorite afternoon snack is an apple with almond butter or peanut butter. In addition, try and restrict your “white” carbs. These are highly processed and your body will react like you are eating straight sugar!
4. Keep a food log.
You can’t improve on your diet unless you know what you are actually putting in your mouth. Track for four days without making ANY changes to what you normally do. You may be surprised at how the calories can add up and that a few simple changes will go a long way over time. You can use good old-fashioned pen and paper or the My Fitness Pal (or any app like it). Making sure you get enough calories of the right types of foods is just as important as making sure you don’t get too much!
5. Don’t go crazy!
Don’t try to make too many changes at once. I have had many clients with the best of intentions burn out because their weight loss/get healthy plan was too aggressive. The first two days are fine, because they are white knuckling it, but after that they fall off the rails! Pick THREE small goals and stick to them. These small changes will add up over time! For example – eat approximately 1,600 calories a day, drink 100 oz of water a day, and exercise/walk four times a week. Keep yourself accountable! Put a chart on your fridge and give yourself a great big star when you keep your goals. This stuff takes time! Don’t expect to see changes for several months but they are happening!