Clients often tell me that winter is the hardest time of year for them to stay on track as heavy sweaters can mask our poor eating habits. Then, summer comes and all of a sudden the mindset shifts. Now, my clients say summer is the most difficult time to eat healthy!
Truthfully, I think summer is the most difficult season for people. I know this is true for myself as well. It is difficult to remain motivated and on track when it is so easy to sit on a nice patio, eat a huge meal and drink glasses of wine under the sun. Thankfully, all of your hard work does not need to be tossed out the window when the sun is shining.
Here are my top 5 tips to remain on track during those summer months:
1) Mix things up with your exercise routine
Consider exercising outdoors! I don't just mean walking, hiking or running. Nowadays, almost all gym classes can be taken outside, including, yoga, pilates and high-intensity bootcamp style classes. When you are active outside, you are exposed to vitamin D and sunshine, which will lift your spirits and increase your feel-good hormones. After sweating it out and releasing those endorphins, you will be less likely to want to eat foods that make your body feel lousy! Just don't forget your sunscreen :)
2) Increase fruits and veggies
Fresh fruits and veggies are everywhere. Join a local CSA (community-supported agriculture where you can buy a "share" of a farmer's fresh produce and get weekly or bi-weekly deliveries), go to a farmers market or even swing by your local supermarket. Now is the time when you will find produce not typically available and find the usual produce for less. Make it a point to try one new fruit or veggie a week which will help spice things up. (To find a list of local CSA's, check out: https://www.localharvest.org/)
3) Rose All Day
If alcohol consumption for you goes up in the summer, this is a fantastic time to put your intuitive eating (and drinking!) skills in place. Splurge on a good bottle of wine, bring it to a BYOB or on your patio, and savor the taste, texture, and aroma. You can also make your own wine tasting party for you and a group of friends. Rather than see who can down a bottle the fastest, make it a true "tasting" and enjoy savoring smaller quantities of each wine and discussing their different qualities! It is easy to drink for the sake of drinking, but it is SATISFYING to truly enjoy all the components of a good glass or tasting of wine.
4) Alcohol x 2
For those of you that will not be satisfied with one glass of wine (I know you are out there!) and are DYING to know the lowest calorie option, generally, hard liquor and a calorie-free addition will be your best choice (example: vodka and club soda). But remember, most people tend to eat more when they drink and all of those signals that allow you to be in tune with your body will be tossed once your inhibition lowers.
5) ENJOY THIS TIME!
It is so easy to get caught up with everyday life and our to-do lists in the summer. Take advantage of those few extra hours of daylight to do things you typically would not do. This can include taking your meditation practice outside, grilling a different type of fruit, meat, or fish, or taking your latest novel on the porch. Savor the sun and absorb those feel-good hormones!