Warm weather is officially here and hopefully your resolutions to look better in less clothing were a success. But now you feel like, with vacations, pool parties, and summer cook-outs, that 6-pack summer you worked for is slowly fading away. Have no fear those slip-ups are totally expected but here are a couple tricks I always have up my sleeve(less) for the summertime fun ahead:
Don’t Go Hungry and Pack Snacks
Having snacks on hand will keep your energy levels up and your metabolism burning between meals. Being prepared will prevent the last minute poor food choices that can happen when you are hungry and there are limited food selections. Keep items like raw nuts, dried fruits, and whole grain crackers in zip-lock bags or snack-size Tupperware in your purses and carry-on luggage.
Don’t skip meals either. It’s not healthy to save all those calories until the cookout that night. For one you will be HANGRY all day leading up to the night, and for two you will see that delicious spread and dive into everything, including those cheesy Doritos that you never eat because you’re just THAT hungry. If you maintain your eating schedule leading up to the event you will be in the ride mind sight and so will your stomach to make better feasting decisions.
Drink More Water and (Less) Alcohol
Thirst is often mistaken for hunger. Be mindful of drinking at the very least 64 ounces of water per day, or more if you are flying. Staying hydrated will prevent bloating from sodium-laden foods and keep you from overeating. Be sure to buy a reusable water bottle and keep it with you so you can sip on the go.
I say less alcohol because I know it’s inevitable and expected. Most of us (myself included) enjoy a margarita (or two) on a hot summer day. Just remember that alcohol consumption can contribute to an accelerate weight gain. To avoid overindulgence (and save yourself from a nasty hangover) use the “1-to-1 rule,” for every alcohol beverage you consume alternate with a tall glass of water or soda water and lemon/lime wedge. This strategy keeps you hydrated and curbs your consumption.
Another trick I teach my clients and practice myself is the “1 Evil A Day” rule when on vacation. Think in terms of your 3 Evils that can sideline goals:
(1) Skipping workouts
(2) High Calorie Meals
(3) Alcohol consumption
During vacation or summer parties try to practice only 1 evil per day. For example, when on a vacation, totally skipping a workout is expected but the day you do try to pick healthier food choices and avoid the alcohol. OR if you want to sit poolside sipping rumrunners then get your sweat on that morning and stick to nutrient-dense food choices. You get the idea here?? It’s just a way to pick your priorities ;)
Staying Active and Travel-Friendly Gear
If you are traveling away from your home gym try to plan ahead and research fitness facilities in the area you are heading to. Gyms often have daily, weekly, and holiday rates available when guest come to town. Also keep your eyes out for fitness studios that have pay per class options too.
Fitness Anywhere LLC. designed a mobile suspension training system called TRX. The system is based on resistance training using your own body’s weight and gravity as the workload. The straps can be anchored to a door, tree, or playground equipment etc. You can complete a total body workout from literally anywhere and the straps are user friendly and great for all fitness levels.
The system costs less than most exercise equipment with an MSRP of $160-$200 depending on the model and attachments. Each strap comes with a beginner DVD and Fitness Anywhere’s Website (www.trxtraining.com) has a collection of video demos and instructions.
Another compact and effective training tool to take the fitness world by storm are Valslides (or Gliders as another AT Athlete wrote a blog about). A brilliant, yet simplistic training tool designed by celebrity trainer, Valerie Waters. These glorified furniture movers help burn calories, sculpt and tone muscles, and fit in most purses. Valslide’s main objective is to target your legs and core muscles by focusing on balance, stability and functional movements.
With a price tag starting at $29.99, these are a great addition to your traveling gym and also a great stocking stuffer. The slides are perfect for all fitness levels and goals, and paired with a resistance band you can get a total body workout on a five-foot piece of carpet. You can order your own pair from www.valslide.com and their site features a “Training Zone” with introductory videos and sample workout demonstrations.
The best piece of advice I have always given my clients through the summer is to relax and kick back a little bit. Practice moderation but remember summer is only here once per year J It is safe to say a two to three pound weight fluctuation is acceptable from vacation and can easily be lost when you return home to your routine.