Summer is in full swing! A fact that generally warrants celebration, other than the boiling hot temperatures. This also means a vacation or two may be right around the corner for some of us, bringing uncontrolled environments and lots of eating out. Let’s talk a little bit about how we can handle these situations to stay on track and keep crushing our health and fitness goals.
If you are wanting to enjoy the meal along with everyone else, just remember that restaurant foods often contain hidden things like inflammatory seed oils, sodium, msg, and added sugar. There are of course, some ways you can limit the chances of this. When your plans involve eating out, and you’re worried about meeting your macros or just maintaining a healthy diet, keep it simple. Often times people go straight for the salads when they think healthy, but those can actually house a lot of hidden calories between the dressing, cheese, nuts, etc. Instead, look for a protein, vegetable, and carb. The goal here is to be able to see everything you’ll be eating, this is good for portion control and determining macros.
Now, you’ve had your macro-friendly dinner and that summer sun is about to set. Make sure find a scenic spot and soak in the view! Prioritizing morning and evening sunlight is essential for our circadian rhythm and helps to keep hormones in balance. As you sit and watch the sunset, your brain is receiving signals to stop producing cortisol, the stress hormone, and start producing melatonin, which helps us fall asleep and stay asleep to ensure quality rest. When we are well rested, we’re less likely to make bad food choices because our hunger hormones are at ease and we’re less likely to experience intense cravings.
When that sweet tooth hits late in the evening, try to fully enjoy the fruit of the season rather than indulging in a rich, heavy dessert. There are lots of delicious, refreshing fruits that are in season during the summer, and what better way to celebrate than taste test the full flight! Enjoying a light dessert will have you waking up more energized and ready to take on the day, rather than weighed down and lethargic.
Lastly, alcohol has a big impact on our body and therefore, our health and fitness goals. Alcohol lowers our inhibition, leading us to make poor food choices - it’s easy to convince yourself the late night Taco Bell run or hungover pancake breakfast is a necessity. High alcohol intake also inhibits the body’s ability to burn fat and get quality rest, and all these negative effects increase with age. If you’re convinced, avoiding alcohol altogether would be the easiest, but we know how to have a little fun, so the best way to play damage control is drink the simple concoction like vodka soda, ranch water, gin & tonic, etc. This will minimize the excess calories, carbs, and sugar that can be packed into cocktails and mixed drinks.
Especially in summer, many of us have a certain physique we are trying to reach or maintain, and this is largely dependent on our diet and nutrition. You can do all the work like a dog in the gym, but if your eating isn’t in check, it’ll do you no good. It’s important to enjoy yourself and soak in the joys of life, but that’s no excuse to let your goals go by the wayside. Luckily, this nutrition tips make it easy to let the good times roll while still taking care of business.