5 Essential Tips for Summer
“A little bit of summer is what the whole year is about” — John Mayer
In Canada where I live, the winters are long and cold, while the summers are super short. It can sometimes make you feel like you have to pack a whole lot of fun and indulgence into one little time period, which usually isn’t a good way to stay on track. It can easily lead to a “YOLO” (You Only Live Once) type of attitude.
Luckily, there are ways to both enjoy the summertime AND stay on track with your health and fitness goals! Let’s talk about some of things you can do to ensure you have a smooth yet enjoyable summer!
1. Keep routines that work.
One of the trickiest things about summer is the fact that our routines are often thrown completely off. And while it’s refreshing to have a short break in routine, it’s important that we don’t lose any positive traction that we have worked so hard to develop during the beginning of the year. I think we all know just how easy it is for good habits to slip and just how easy it is for bad habits to sneak right in!
So one of the first recommendations that I have for you is to evaluate what current habits and routines are working well for you and figure out how you can maintain them to some degree. You may have to adjust the frequency or timing of them, but it’s often never an all-or-nothing proposition like we tend to think it is.
Question: What is a non-negotiable habit for you to maintain consistency throughout the summer? How might you need to adjust it so that it works for you during the summer months?
2. Start your day off right.
It’s so important to set a strong positive tone for your day. I am a huge proponent of green smoothies in the morning. I love starting the day with a very balanced meal that includes a good amount of protein, as well as fruits and veggies! It’s a very convenient meal for people who don’t have a lot of time in the morning.
You don’t have to be a smoothie lover to start the day off right, though. Just make sure your first meal is well-balanced. This means including a serving of protein, healthy fat, and some fruits and/or veggies. Doing this helps your body maintain steady blood sugar levels throughout the day, keeps you full for longer, and reduces cravings. There’s nothing worse than starting out your day with a sugar-laden breakfast bomb like a store-bought muffin or donut!
You can also start your day off right by implementing or maintaining some other healthy habits like getting up a few minutes earlier than your kids to enjoy a nice cup of coffee in peace, doing a short meditation or even taking the dog for a walk.
Question: What’s one way that you can start the day off right during the summer?
3. Plan Ahead.
If you have kids, you know just how much planning is required to keep them healthy and busy throughout the summer when they’re not in school! But how much planning actually goes into our own days? Are you ensuring that YOU are well hydrated, well-fed, and exercised too?
I always think that it’s helpful to consider how you want to feel AFTER summer is over. Most of us want to avoid feeling unhealthy, out of shape, frumpy and bloated.
Instead, visualizing a positive future self can sometimes help you make good choices when it matters.
In order to feel how you want to feel in September, you are going to have to think ahead. Maybe that looks like creating simple weekly meal plans, making sure you have healthy options available on your camping trips, or even figuring out when you’re going to be able to get in your regular workouts with the kids at home.
Question: How do YOU want to feel come September? Set an intention for yourself. Commit to yourself. You’re worth it!
4. Be Picky.
Another reason why summer can be tricky to navigate is that there are often increased opportunities for celebrations, socializing and access to unhealthy food and (alcoholic beverages). It’s easy to get caught up in the moment, and say yes to sub-par choices that you aren’t even crazy about.
I’d recommend getting really specific on what you like and don’t like and what is truly worth it to you. You do not have to say yes to every opportunity that comes your way.
I’ll give you an example. Let’s say that you absolutely love pistachio ice cream. Other ice cream is okay, but you loooove pistachio. And let’s say that you find yourself at an ice cream shop with your kids but they are all out of pistachio. In this situation, you could choose to opt-out! Save that ice cream indulgence for a time that they have your favorite flavor. Remember that there are hundreds of opportunities in the future for it, and you are all about making worthwhile choices!
Question: What are the treats or indulgences that are worth it to me, and what is the smallest amount that I can eat to be satisfied?
5. Get Support.
It’s a lot easier to engage in positive activities and habits if people around you are also engaging in them. The social and physical environment that we live in plays a very important role in our lives. Consider ways that you can layer in some of your own boundaries, as well as support and accountability throughout the summer months. Some ideas for you…
If you want to stay consistent with your runs, find a local running club that goes out regularly instead of going out on your own. It’s a lot easier to make excuses to yourself about why you’re not going, than it is to a group of people waiting for you to show up!
Create your own rules for eating and drinking throughout the summer. Maybe it’s something like only enjoying alcoholic beverages on the weekends or making sure to include a certain amount of veggies each day. This will help you stay on track, especially if you’re finding that you’re going to a lot of social events.
If camping is your thing but you find that it’s a tricky place to eat well, spend some extra time prepping snacks and meals that are healthier so that you have easy access to them while everyone else is eating chips and hotdogs.
Ask a good friend to act as an accountability partner, and check-in with them weekly to determine progress: what went well and what didn’t?
Track your food! The Ate app is a great way to stay accountable. Regularly schedule times where you can curiously and non-judgmentally look back at your choices and determine any patterns.
Finally, reach out to a coach if you know you need extra support. That’s what we’re here for!
Question: Think about summers in the past. Where are your weakest areas and what can you do differently this summer?
Summer CAN be a time of year where you both enjoy yourself as well as stay on track, but it’s important to be realistic and flexible with your goals. Reach out for support if you need it — there’s strength in numbers and tremendous power in feeling like you’re not alone in your journey.
I hope you all have an amazing summer and find the balance of health and enjoyment that works for you!
You do not have to “do healthy” on your own. In fact, research tells us that you are much more likely to succeed if you have accountability layered in.
Let’s face it — healthy eating and healthy lifestyles can be boring and require a lot of patience. Having the support of an accountability coach and a community of like-minded individuals on your team can make all the difference. Share paths with a practicing holistic nutritionist, receive one-on-one coaching regarding your meals, and be connected on the app with my other clients and Ambassadors. You will have fun, stay motivated, and feel inspired!
Find out more by visiting my website www.stacyyates.com