Nutrition and fitness tips that will help you feel and look your best all summer long, while enjoying yourself along the way.
We all want to have a healthy and fit summer, but I know it can be hard with vacation plans, summer drinks, and ice cream cravings. In this article, I’ll share my top tips for feeling great all summer long.
This is the time of year when I know many people will be taking time off to relax in the sun, eat delicious food, and have a few drinks.
And it’s okay to indulge! It’s the summer and there’s more to life than hitting your macros every day.
But, summer is also the time when many people are super conscious about what their body looks like and might start following unsustainable programs or diets to get “shredded for summer” or “bikini ready”.
Today, I’m going to give you some tips that will help you feel and look your best all summer long, while enjoying yourself along the way.
Before we get started on my top tips for a healthy summer, let’s chat briefly about what NOT to do.
Let’s debunk a few common approaches – why they may “work” temporarily and why they don’t last.
Drinking only juice=extreme calorie restriction=weight loss.
It’s not magic, and the weight is going to go right back on when you start eating again. This is because your body needs energy! When you deprive it of energy, it will likely lead to overeating or binge eating.
Juicing also removes the fiber from fruits and vegetables and we know that higher fiber diets are the key to feeling satiated and feeding your healthy gut bacteria. If you want a fruity drink, go for smoothies rather than juices to preserve the fiber.
Also, research supports the ineffectiveness of these approaches! According to a 2014 critical review: “Although the detox industry is booming, there is very little clinical evidence to support the use of these diets.” (1)
If you have a working liver and kidneys, you don’t need anything to detox your body. Show your organs some RESPECT! Are you really going to ignore how hard these organs are naturally working to detoxify your body by falling into the marketing trap that some juice or other product can do their job better??
These so called “detox” teas usually include:
Diuretics can lead to electrolyte imbalances, headaches, muscle cramps and dizziness. Laxatives also come along with a nasty list of side effects, including bloating (which defeats the purpose of these teas), passing gas, stomach cramps and dehydration.
All studies showing connections between apple cider vinegar and weight loss are short term and mostly done on rats. Sustainable weight loss comes from lifestyle changes and balanced nutrition, not chugging vinegar (which may cause digestive side effects and erosion of tooth enamel (2,3).
These do absolutely nothing. They may make you sweat more and look smaller while wearing them, but they also restrict breathing and can damage internal organs.
I’m not saying it’s wrong to have goals for your physique. I’m here to support you in whatever you’re looking to accomplish with your nutrition. But, my focus is always on sustainability and helping you FEEL your best.
If you’re looking to feel more confident this summer in your nutrition and lifestyle choices, while still enjoying some snacks, drinks, and social time, here are my top tips you should follow!
Water is especially important in the summer because you sweat more, so you need to replenish the lost water. Additionally, if you’re drinking alcohol, make sure to drink a glass of water between alcoholic drinks. Not only will this help you slow down and not overdo it, but it can help you prevent a nasty hangover the next day.
I’m never going to tell anyone to cut alcohol completely out of their life if that isn’t something they want to do, but if you do choose to drink, do so mindfully and aim for drinks with less added sugar most of the time.
Extra tip to keep hydrated: add cucumber, lemon, strawberries, or other fruit for a fun, summery twist!
Getting a workout in doesn’t have to mean going to the gym. There are so many options for summer sports and activities, but if you only “count” going to the gym as exercise, you’re making success more difficult for yourself! Going for a walk in the sun, swimming, kayaking, and hiking are all great ways to stay active. Even doing yard work will help you get your heart rate up and your steps in.
If you’re making plans with friends and family, you don’t need to spend all your social time sipping drinks on a patio or going out for dinner. Making plans that involve getting active allows you to mix social time with taking care of your body.
Cooking food on the barbecue is a great way to make a tasty meal that is lower in calories and fat than using other cooking methods. When cooking meat, go for leaner cuts: skinless chicken, or a very lean cut of beef or pork.
The BBQ is also the perfect way to cook veggies and even some fruit (eg. pineapple and watermelon)! If you struggle to enjoy vegetables cooked in other ways, the amazing flavor of grilled vegetables might encourage you to eat more.
You might be taking advantage of the weekends for BBQs, going to the beach, or going out for drinks, but don’t restrict yourself during the week to compensate for extra calories on the weekend.
Mathematically, this might make sense, so why is it a bad idea?
Because it often creates a restrict and binge pattern that is super unhealthy – mentally and physically! When you feel hungry all week, you’re more likely to overdo it and go “all out” on the weekend, ignoring your body’s fullness cues and stuffing yourself with as much food as possible before Monday rolls around and you start restricting again.
Just because you COULD have 4 beers in one night “because it’s summer” doesn’t mean you SHOULD. Listen to your body and consider how your choices make your body feel.
As I said above, I’m not saying you shouldn’t drink if you want to, but prioritize taking care of yourself.
For example, maybe you want to enjoy some potato chips on a Friday night with friends. Here are 3 options for what might happen:
Which option sounds best to you??
Summer is prime time to eat fresh, cold, juicy fruit. Fruit is incredibly good for you, filled with fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. If you’re trying to keep an eye on your calorie intake, swap out dessert for a bowl of fruit to get the same sweet flavour without the extra calories.
Here are some great flavorful fruit options for summer:
If you’re looking for a delicious dessert, try combining three of the fruits above into a fruit salad and sprinkling it with shredded coconut. You could even enjoy a square of dark chocolate on the side!
Not fitness or nutrition related, but this is key. Make sure to use sunscreen to protect yourself from UV rays, which can cause wrinkles, dark spots, and even skin cancer. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends using a broad-spectrum sunscreen (protects against UVA and UVB rays) that is SPF 30 or higher and water resistant (4).
If you take one thing away from this post, let it be this: the people who have a healthy and fit summer are not the ones who make themselves miserable with restrictions.
They’re the ones who take care of themselves, work to love their body in whatever state it’s in, and learn to enjoy life throughout the process of working towards their long-term goals.
If you’re looking to feel more confident this summer in your nutrition and lifestyle choices, working with a dietitian can make a huge difference.
Fill out an application here if you want to learn more about our Planos signature program, The Nutrition Makeover Method and how it can help you crush your goals this summer!
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