The summer is in full swing now and you might be finding yourself going to a lot of cookouts, beach parties, and other outdoor get togethers that can really put a hindrance on your fitness and weight loss goals. We've all been there, right? The hotdogs, cheeseburgers, potato salad, chips galore, not to mention the alcohol! With so many temptations at all of these social gatherings, the calories can really add up over the course of the summer. Eep! If you find yourself in that situation, particularly on weekends, or even if you're having a quiet evening in, here are some tips for keeping your diet in check and maintaining your activity levels.
1 | Choose events that are active
Going to the beach with a bunch of friends? Play some frisbee or beach volleyball while you're there instead of lounging in the sun all afternoon. Having people over to your place? If you have a backyard, put up a badminton net, or some other active yard games. Get your friends up out of the lounge chairs and moving around! Opting for a less social scene? Try kayaking or taking a hike. Alone, with a friend, or with a significant other, those things can be super fun while also being challenging to the muscles. A win-win in my book!
2 | Stay hydrated
I say it all the time in my advice on the blog, and I know you hear it all the time, too. There's a reason for that though! With all the salt, sugar, and alcohol that's usually at any given barbecue or picnic, it's no wonder you might feel awful after an event like that. One of my favorite things to do to make myself drink more water is infuse it with fruit. I know it's all the rage now anyway, but it really is a great way to add some healthy flavor to otherwise boring water. Check out some awesome-sounding infuser recipes here. Mango-ginger water? I'm in!
3 | Watch out for hidden calorie bombs
Got a backyard barbecue planned? Grill up some lean meats and avoid the mayo-heavy egg salad. Making your own side dishes? Opt for a nice spinach salad with strawberries and goat cheese, a fruit salad, and/or a lighter version of the classic summer cookout side: potato salad. Other calorie bombs are the classic ruffled potato chips & dip, margaritas and other sugary alcoholic drinks. Opt for multigrain or whole wheat crackers instead of chips. You can also try your hand at mixology and make your own margaritas or mojitos using fresh ingredients instead of using the premade mixes. Pinterest has some great recipes for both of those (and also just about everything else your heart desires!).
4 | Don't overindulge
Really, though. How many times have you gone to a summer hang out with friends and had a few burgers, some chips, that potato salad, AND the awesome looking chocolate cake or ice cream? Any one of those things in moderation is fine, but all combined for one meal makes for a huge calorie surplus in your day. If you plan on treating yourself (which I think you should! Remember, moderation!), choose one indulgence and limit yourself to that. I'm a firm believer in moderation. If you think that things will be too tempting, try to eat before you go. Filling up beforehand will help in reducing the amount you eat while out.
5 | Take your workouts outside
This tip is more for your personal life rather than the social gatherings that you might go to over the summer, but I think it's still worth mentioning. There are endless ways to workout outdoors in the summer! Find a park and do some exercises on a bench. Take your yoga mat to the beach and do some body weight exercises. There are so many ways to keep up your activity levels outdoors. If you need some ideas for workouts, check out a few of my favorites from the blog here and here.
There you have it! I hope these tips help you stay healthy this summer and avoid the weight gain that can sometimes hit us by summer's end.
Readers: chat with me! What are your favorite ways to stay healthy over the summer? Any outdoor activities you particularly love, or healthy dishes you typically bring to a barbecue? Share them below - I'd love to hear what they are!