What do you think about when you hear the word – summer?
Well for me, it’s things like the beach, vacation, cocktails, outdoor seating, concerts and overall relaxation.
I know so many people who tell me that by the end of the summer/early fall time period, they are going to use the winter months to “diet and get in shape.” I’ll never tell someone that making changes is a bad idea – BUT (yes, there is a but) pursuing a diet or fitness regimen that advertises itself as a “quick fix” is just not the way to go. It should be a 12 month a year, 7 day a week commitment. Having healthy lifestyle habits half the time will not give you the results that you want. It’s like saying you want to go for a swim but you’re only putting your feet in – impossible. So here are a couple of reasons why you may not be hitting your health and fitness goals this summer:
1. Weekend Binges
Sorry friends, eating and drinking “healthy” during the week but binging over the weekend will get you nowhere. Avoiding alcohol during the week then drinking White Claws at the pool all day while eating chips or ordering pizza to avoid having a hangover or to satisfy the hunger that alcohol causes is DEFINITELY going to get you nowhere. Yes, you heard me – alcohol makes you hungry. It causes your blood sugar to drop which is why carbs look SOOO good to you after you’ve had a few drinks. That’s just only one of the reasons why alcohol makes it challenging to hit your health/fitness goals.
It’s really hard to cut back on alcohol – especially in a social setting. Instead, try to set a drink limit for yourself. You can also substitute hard seltzers for unsweetened flavored seltzers like La Croix, Bubly or Polar.
Mindset is extremely important when pursuing a healthy lifestyle. At the end of the day, lasting results only happen when you decide that you are all in. That isn’t to say you can’t enjoy a cocktail or a cookie. It is more about realizing that “treating yourself” doesn’t have to be tied to a good or bad day OR something that happens frequently. When you have the mindset of planning ahead, providing structure for yourself, avoiding the accumulation of junk food in your pantry so it’s not there when cravings hit – this is the type of practice that will help you learn and keep positive habits while making lasting changes to your health.
3. Cutting Corners
Guys – I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. The quick fixes do not work. Lasting changes happen over time. Significant weight-loss and improved blood work happen OVER TIME. If you are looking to lose weight in 2 weeks and you think a crash diet will get you there – well, it might. But guess what, it won’t last. Also, THAT AIN’T HEALTHY. Lasting results happen when you are in the lifestyle change mindset 12 months a year. Instead of setting one lofty goal [like losing 30 pounds], come up with a few small goals that are more achievable and can be a stepping stone to where you want to be. Here are some helpful examples:
- I want to start substituting candy or other desserts for fruit.
- I want to stop drinking soda or sweet tea.
- I want to exercise 30 minutes a day for 5 days a week.
- I want to start eating REAL food and not food out of a can, box or a [potato chip] bag.
Bigger is NOT Always Better….
The goals I listed above are small, yet practical and achievable. The cool thing is that with goals like these, weight-loss will naturally come and it wasn’t even listed as one of the goals! Weight-loss is a great goal but if this is your only goal, it could drastically affect the way you try to achieve it. Weight-loss should be a byproduct of some of the behavior and lifestyle changes that you set for yourself.
As we finish off the month of July and start with August, I challenge you to set a couple small goals for yourself. It can be related to anything – not just fitness/food. See if you are up to the challenge. You are more powerful than you think you are. YOU are in control of your life. Isn’t that empowering?
Thanks for reading, friends
Crystal Dee/Your Food Allergy Guide
Disclaimer: this is not meant to replace medical advice. I am not a doctor or registered dietitian. I am sharing tips from experience and based on what I have learned about behavior change and nutrition from my master’s program.