Enjoy Summer Without Weight Gain

Summer is finally here!

The blissful sun-drenched days we’ve been waiting for have finally arrived here in Toronto (it was a LONG wait!).

A belated Happy Canada Day to all the Canadians and an early Happy Fourth of July to my American friends!

The sunny season has begun.

But wait!

Summer brings many temptations that can stall your weight loss goals.

BBQs, weddings, and cottage weekends put pressure on you to eat foods that don’t do your body any favours.

Who doesn’t love ice cream on hot day?

Or perhaps your taste is more for Rib Fests and a cold pint?

It’s all happening now, my friend.

And the chilled-out vibe of the summer makes us all the more likely that we’ll indulge.

As a Nutrition Coach, my view is that you should enjoy yourself in the summer.

Revel in the particular joys that the season brings.

Even if that means some crappy amusement park food once in a while.

Many people assume that because I’m a Nutrition Coach I avoid treats (summer and otherwise).

No way!

Last week after my son finished his last day of Junior Kindergarten we joined a group of families from our condo building for a 20 minute walk to get some fancy ice cream:

We enjoyed the walk and the treat, joined in the fun with friends, and nothing bad happened.

This long weekend my husband and I celebrated eleven years together in Niagara Falls and indulged in cheesecake, cookies, and freshly made s’mores.

We also ate our protein (mostly seafood) and veggies and did enough walking to make our legs ache for a massage…so it worked out.

If you increase your calorie expenditure significantly, those high-calorie treats won’t make as much of a difference.

And summer is the perfect time to get outside for a stroll, or go bike riding, rollerblading, or swimming.

There’s tons of fun to be had at this time of year!

How do you keep from piling on the pounds while not feeling left out this summer?

Balance, of course.

It’s not necessary to keep yourself from special occasions or avoid treats altogether.

If you’ve been following a sensible nutrition plan of lean protein, some starchy carbs, and veggies/fruit with some treats (a fairly ideal scenario), don’t just switch to beer, mojitos, burgers, ribs, and sausages.

Choose what you really enjoy and add in some healthier options to keep you satisfied.

Pick your favourite fruits and veggies and have plenty of them.

Although I’m not a big salad person, they seem more enjoyable when consumed on a patio on a sunny day with a bottle of Corona.

You don’t need those heavy comfort foods like stews, mac and cheese, pot roast, and lasagne right now.

Chances are that your spirits are a bit lifted at this time of year.

The extra vitamin D you’re getting may even improve your mood.

Remember that summer also brings fresh local fruit (watermelon and strawberries…yay!), corn on the cob, and grilled fish and veggies.

When you’re at a special event, survey the scene first and decide what’s really worth it.

When you’re not at a BBQ, the cottage, beer fest, party, or wedding, keep your nutrition lower in calories, carbs, and fat (because that’s what’s in most treat foods!).

I normally tell my Online Coaching clients to stick to lean protein (fish, eggs, chicken, lower-fat cheeses and yogurt, whey protein, turkey, lean red meat) and veggies before special occasions…and also eat that way the next day to help balance things out.

If you overindulge by 1000 extra calories one day, for example, you need to find a way of reducing your calories by 1000 calories over the next couple of days. 

Don’t starve yourself, but make sure you do a little “trimming” to even things out.

That way you won’t be adding pounds.

I don’t consider that moderation (yawn!).

It’s actually just smart planning.

With a sensible strategy, you can enjoy the fun of summer, without any guilt or added pounds.

Ivana Chapman

 

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Ivana Chapman

Ivana Chapman

Ivana Chapman BSc BA CSCS is a Canadian fitness and nutrition coach, happy wife, and mom to an energetic 5-year-old boy. She is a writer, published fitness model, speaker, 3rd Dan black belt in Shotokan Karate, former World Cup Karate Champion, one-time marathoner, and CBBF National level Natural Bikini competitor. She loves weight training and chocolate, not always in that order of preference.
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