It is so easy to blame winter for weight gain. It’s cold, dark and there is not much to do but eat, watch TV and hide in a bulky sweater. But I gain weight in summer! How does this happen?
I take advantage of the extra hours of daylight and nice weather to exercise more, but I eat and drink more, giving truth to the saying that you can’t outrun your fork. Taking my kids out for ice cream, cocktails around a campfire and endless buffets at parties, weddings and picnics give me endless opportunities to stuff my face.
With a month of summer left, there is still time to negate what you ate and drop those summer pounds. Here is what you need to do.
Stick to your routine
If your weekend is booked with food-focused social events, be diligent about your food choices during the week and keep them consistent. Have a few go-to weekday meals to avoid overindulging before the weekend temptations. Having a salad for dinner on Tuesday will make that burger at Saturday’s cookout taste even better.
If you know you will be faced with a bountiful buffet at your evening party, eat a light breakfast and lunch. Bring your favorite healthy dish to pass at your next picnic so you know you will have a low-calorie option that you love.
Eat simple and fresh
Plant a garden or check out your local farmers’ market to take advantage of in-season fruits and vegetables. Toss up a salad loaded with a variety of vegetables, add a lean protein such as grilled chicken and drizzle with a little olive oil and vinegar. The full flavor of in-season produce will make up for the lack of added fat, sodium and sugar found in deli salads and store-bought dressings.
Increase your activity
Find fun outdoor activities to do with your friends or family that don’t feel like a workout such as bicycling the neighborhood, paddleboarding a lake, kayaking a river, or hiking a nature trail or beach. Act like a kid again by organizing a game of baseball, basketball or kickball.
Summer is short, enjoy every moment. Savor the ice cream, enjoy the company of family and friends with food and cold refreshments, but always be mindful of your health.
Nancy Kiehnau is a certified personal trainer for the Greater Green Bay YMCA.