So you spent the winter working hard. You exercised consistently, you were careful to eat more healthy foods and you watched your portion sizes. Why? So you would look great at the lake and have plenty of energy to enjoy the summer. You greeted summer with a healthy, toned body. But summer, in spite of all the fun and relaxation it brings, can be tricky and deal us a cruel blow when it comes to our fitness.
Have you noticed the scale creeping up a little over the last couple of months? If so, you are not alone. Summer is a very easy time to overindulge and pick up those pounds that you shed during the winter months.
Is that what you want though? Are you willing to undo all that you worked so hard to accomplish?
Remember that bad habits creep in slowly. Perhaps you are skipping your workouts a couple days each week, because ‘You have so much to do.’ Or maybe you have been indulging in unhealthy food or drinks a little more frequently when you are with friends. It happens little by little. It happens one small choice at a time. But those choices add up fast.
If you realize that you have been slipping up, it’s not too late to turn around and get back on track. Really! There is still plenty of summer left for you to regain whatever ground you might have lost and get back to awesome.
Here are a few common reasons that people gain weight in the summer and how to remedy them.
1. Disrupted sleep cycle. Summer brings with it more daylight and longer days. This extra sunshine can cause our circadian rhythms to change which causes us to sleep less. But if we don’t get enough sleep, our bodies will respond by packing on a few extra pounds! The solution? Be diligent to get at least seven hours of sleep each night.
2. Baby, it’s hot out there! When it’s hot and humid, we tend to move around less. Our energy is lower and besides, who wants to sweat even more, right? But the less you move, the slower your metabolism is and the fewer calories you will burn. Be intentional about keeping up with your exercise. Find indoor exercise alternatives like boot camp classes or maybe even take up swimming. Just keep moving.
3. On the road again. Summer meals travel and travel means healthy eating just got harder. Eating on the road presents big challenges if you are trying to eat clean. Before your summer trips, brainstorm some ways to reduce the amount of fast food that you will consume while you are away. Consider packing a cooler with hummus, nuts, lean proteins sources like chicken, fresh fruit and raw veggies.
4. Caution: Cookouts! Ahhh…summer cookouts, parties, family reunions. All this spells danger because the food at these festivities is usually about as unhealthy as you can get! Make sure you pass on the hot dogs, potato salad, oily salad dressings and rice cakes. Look for grilled vegetables, fresh fruit and lean cuts of meat prepared without greasy marinades.
Don’t let the summer creep undo all the hard work you’ve done to get you where you are right now. Decide to fight back. Make up your mind to finish well this summer. Your future self will thank you!