Now that Memorial Day is behind us and warm weather, summer vacation, and everything that goes along with these fun times is on our minds, I wanted to share some of the things I do to keep myself on track during the summer. I’m alllllll about having a good time and enjoying myself – but without going off the rails!
It’s so, so, so easy to get wrapped up in the summertime fun and related festivities, especially when it comes to eating, drinking, and being merry. It definitely happens to me as well as my nutrition clients, so I wanted to share some of the things I do myself and hear what you guys have to say. I’m far from perfect, and I know we can learn from one another, so feel free to leave a comment below about how you stay on track during the summer!
Be picky about when you decide to enjoy alcohol
It’s no secret that I love to enjoy a cocktail or two – and summer is FULL of opportunities to drink, but you don’t need to booze ALL the time. Alcohol is just empty calories. Stick to special events or just the weekends and skip the mid-week cocktails. A random Tuesday night? You probably don’t need that glass of wine. A Sunday Funday at the beach with friends? Sure, enjoy a couple of drinks!
Set a limit
Before you start boozing, set a limit of how many drinks you plan to have and then STICK to that number. No exceptions! If you still want to feel social, drink a “mocktail.” I’m a big fan of enjoying a flavored seltzer in a pretty glass with a slice of lemon or lime. Taking the time to make my usual seltzer “fancy” with a slice of fresh fruit or berries (chunks of watermelon are tasty, too) makes it seem like I’m participating in the “ritual” of enjoying a cocktail, but without the alcohol. Kombucha works the same way! 🙂
Load up on protein and veggies
There are so many opportunities to eat and drink during the summer, so make sure the majority of your meals, especially the ones at home (!!), are protein- and veggie-heavy to “free up” your carb and fat grams to give you a little cushion for your fun choices later in the day (like if you go to a party or barbecue later in the day). Making sure my diet is ON-POINT during the week also helps balances my splurges on the weekend.
Consider the “awesomeness” of your food choices
Chips and salsa or Doritos that you’ve had a zillion times versus birthday cake or your Grandma’s potato salad? Pick only the awesome choices and enjoy them!
Share the fun stuff
I love the Coffee Oreo ice cream from a local farm stand that we frequent during the summer, but the portions are pretty huge. Instead of denying myself a favorite summer treat, I share it with Mal. Typically, a small serving satisfies my craving, so splitting it and eating only half is the perfect solution.
Go grocery shopping on Friday night or early-morning on Saturday or Sunday
Having healthy food IN your house is more than half the battle, so make sure you make grocery shopping a priority at some point! Similarly, use a delivery service for the summer if you know getting to the grocery store will be tough.
KISS meal prep… keep it super simple meal prep!
No wants to spend hours in the kitchen cooking food, especially on the weekend when the weather is gorgeous outside. Fire up the grill, make a nutrient-packed smoothie, use meal starters/short cuts, like frozen veggies (<— lots of ideas for frozen veggies), pre-cooked rice/grains, burger patties, and kabobs, throw everything in a salad and call it a meal… do whatever you can to minimize the time you spend on meal prep!
Focus your meal prep on your most challenging macro
Ask yourself which macro do you have the hardest time hitting? I personally struggle with hitting my protein goals, so my prep day is almost always focused on cooking various forms of meat and fish as well as protein balls to set me up for a healthy week ahead.
Rack up your NEAT (non-exercise activity thermogenesis)
All of those steps really add up, so make it a point to walk and move more in my daily life. Even little things, like taking the stairs and parking in the spot farthest from the store, make a difference. And, hey, it’s summer, it’s time to get outside and play! Mal and I actually just started a “daily showdown” challenge on Fitbit to help us get our steps in each day. You can actually taunt each other through the app, so it’s obviously been ridiculous! 🙂 FYI: I have the Fitbit Versa, and I am lovvvving it. Review coming soon!
Give yourself a break from tracking macros every once in awhile
There are so many opportunities to have fun and eat delicious food in the summer – and you don’t want to miss any of those opportunities being glued to MyFitnessPal. For instance, track your macros during the week and then take a break on the weekends. Enjoy yourself – just be mindful of your choices. Then, get right back on track on Monday!
Question of the Day
What are you favorite tips for staying on track during the summer?
P.S. If you haven’t heard already, the half-yearly sale at Nordstrom is happening right now. Check it out for the best selection and deals – up to 40% off!