How To Stay On Track During The Summer

Summer is my second favorite season of the year. While sometimes the heat is unbearable, it is a small price to pay for being able to wear shorts and sandals, spend time outside, get a tan, and get your hands on fresh fruit without breaking the bank. It’s the time of outdoor music festivals, farmer’s markets, and more cookouts than you can fit into your schedule. For some, summer is a very difficult time to stay on track.  When there are cookouts and plenty of excuses to stay out later and enjoy plenty of high calories cold beverages, it’s easy to let your weight loss efforts get pushed to the side so you can enjoy all of the goodies that summer regularly offers.  
Personally, I actually find summer to be the time of year that it’s easiest for me to stay on track, but that is because of the habits I’ve developed over the last handful of years. The things I do to help me stay on track during the summer are now naturally engrained in my brain, and come easily to me, making summer the time of year I am most focused, feeling my best, and typically seeing the most progress in my journey. 
  1. Hydrate! I know, drinking water pretty much ends up in every single “tips for weight loss type video, but there is a good reason. Hydration is essential for keeping the body running and functioning well, but I feel like it’s extra essential in summer. If you’re doing summer the way summer is meant to be done, odds are you’re spending more time out in the sun and heat. There’s nothing better for you than making sure you’re consuming plenty of ice cold, refreshing, hydrating water while you’re busy sweating your booty off outside.  Whether I just got back from a walk or I’m chilling outside at a party, that cold H2O feels so good on so many levels. What happens to my body if I’m staying hydrated while out in the heat, is I notice between the heat and filling my stomach with liquid, I’m a lot less hungry in general during the summer. Less hunger = less random munching.
  2. Get outside! Guys, its SUMMER time.  Get outside and get a little sweaty. No one will judge, we’re all sweaty this time of year. Again, when I’m all summertime toasty hot, I find that a bonus is my appetite is way suppressed. Is it just me? Does the idea of being out in the blazing heat of the day really make you feel nothing but negative thoughts? Well, thanks to summer, it is light outside for longer, which means you can get outside later in the day. Just last night I took Gracie on an extra walk at 8:00 pm. It was still warm, but not unbearably hot. Perfect for getting a few thousand more steps in before calling it a night. There is something magical about taking even 20 minutes to just be outside. It’s good for the body, mind, and soul. Bonus: you get that sun-kissed glow. 
  3. Eat all the produce. One of my favorite things about summer is that fresh, delicious produce is plentiful and way less expensive than it is in the winter. Is there anything more glorious than a slice of chilled watermelon or a bowl of fresh berries on a hot summer day? No, there really isn’t. I find that in summer my body actually craves more fruits and vegetables, and I give in to those cravings because let’s be honest, I could do a lot worse than enjoying extra fresh grilled veggies or an extra cup of fresh fruit salad. Between the produce and the water I’m drinking, I’m often filled up on good, fresh, healthy things. If I’m behaving and listening to my hunger signals (which I’ll admit isn’t always the case), then I’m a lot less likely to eat all of the delicious junk that’s available this time of year. I eat healthy naturally. 
  4. Low-calorie alcoholic beverages. One of the standards of summer is cookouts and parties that typically include alcohol. Alcoholic beverages are a sure fire way to skyrocket your daily intake of points, sugars, and calories without even thinking about it, so it’s important to have lighter options if you’re someone who likes to participate on a regular basis. Well margaritas are amazing and mimosas are delicious, both of them are so heavy in sugar and calories that it’s really easy to pack on the pounds. Two of my favorite low-calorie options are as follows. The first one is a discovery I made just this past week, and it is the new spiked seltzers from Smirnoff.  At only 90 cals and 1 g of sugar and 4.5% ABV, they’re kind of like a lightly alcoholic Lacroix. If you are a cocktail type person, the goal is to enjoy your booze with as little additives as possible. My old go to used to be a vodka cranberry, which was easy to keep low cal at home because I was able to buy diet cranberry juice, which let’s face it is actually just cranberry flavored water at 5 cals a serving, but when you go out and order a vodka cranberry, there’s no way the bars are going to have diet anything. What I would end up with is full calorie, full sugar mixers plus the vodka, making my beverage many more calories in points and I would’ve liked. So, I made a couple modifications and now my go-to order is a vodka soda (which is just carbonated water) with a small splash of cranberry. This means that you’re only paying for the vodka, and your mixers are essentially nothing. This is also a drink easy to re-create at home. I now have a legitimate low-calorie but still alcoholic options which allow me to enjoy partying right along with my family and friends, but without completely derailing my day or week. 
  5. Bring your own weight watchers friendly side dish. As you know, when you are invited to a cookout of any kind it is always good form to bring something to share. Since you’re going to bring something anyway, why not make a dish that is diet friendly and fits perfectly into your plan? For the cookout I attended on the Fourth of July, I literally brought a bunch of raw vegetables and some hummus. Raw veggies are zero points, low-calorie, and a great way to fill up while still getting to enjoy little bits and pieces of the higher calorie goods available. If you bring your own diet-friendly dish, you can at least rest assured knowing there’s at least one thing where you can enjoy guilt-free. 
  6. Sneak in extra activities. Since it’s summer and you’re going to be spending plenty of time outside anyway, you might as well pick and choose activities that involve getting extra movement without even trying. Walk around the local farmers market and get some steps in while you’re picking out delicious fresh produce, or enjoy your day at the amusement park as you walk your way from ride to ride. Park at the other end of the parking lot and walk the extra distance to the door taking advantage of the fact it’s not freezing and snowing outside, or have a romantic walk in the park with your loved one or your dog to enjoy a summertime sunset. It is really easy to pick activities that do not simply involve going out to eat, but rather involve activity, movement, and doing something healthy for your body. This is definitely a lot easier to accomplish in the summer than in the dead of winter, at least for me. 
  7. Plan ahead for your parties. As we’ve mentioned several times already, summer is the season of cookouts, get together’s, and parties were food and alcohol flow freely. If you know you’re going to one of these events in the coming weekend, why not plan ahead all week long? Working in an extra work out or two to burn some extra calories, and the extra diligent about what you’re putting into your body to make room for your indulgences during the weekend. It doesn’t take too much extra work to be able to work your party right into your plan. I always sign on I plan ahead, it is a rare thing to have the party affect my number on the scale, and I also enjoy my indulgences a little bit more because I don’t feel at all guilty about having them because I planned well the rest of the week.
Those are just a few things that I do during the summer to help me stay on track. Like I said, summer is actually the season I have the easiest time getting active, eating well, and treating my body right. I’m not sure if it’s because it’s bikini season and there’s a little bit more pressure, or simply because I love being outside in the sun and all of the positive choices come naturally, but summer is my bodies season to thrive. Hopefully, with these tips, you are inspired to help your body thrive during this wonderful season as well. Do you have anything that you do to help you stay on track during the summer? Let me know in the comments below. 

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