With the Fourth of July coming right up, I thought this might be a good post for today! Because enjoying summer picnics and holidays with family and friends while staying on track with your healthy lifestyle change could seem like an impossible task… It is not! Many others have done it before you; it will just take some planning, choices, and most of all a set mind.
First of all, make the decision to not simply put your healthy lifestyle aside until after the picnics—rather, accept the fact that you might have to tweak a few things and bend a little, but your health, well-being and future are all worth staying on track through this challenging time. Remember how horrible you feel when you don’t treat your body right? Do you really want to go there again? Of course not! Don’t give it all up until life goes back to routine… for all you know, it might never do that! Rather, choose to stick to a few rules you make for yourself, and allow the rest to slip if you must.
I draw the line at the following:
~ No matter what, I continue to drink my 80 ounces of water; it keeps my body flushed from whatever junk I might eat, and keeps me hydrated.
~ No matter what, I make time for exercise—at least every other day during very busy times. I love to get up real early (OK, I don’t love the getting up, but I sure enjoy it right afterwards) and have the house all to myself to workout. Besides, it’s not too hot yet. It helps me get ready for the day, and I know that I am covered if I happen to indulge in a few extra calories. I plan for this exercise time, schedule it in just like I schedule the picnics. It matters to me, and my family is much happier when they have a happy mom! Sometimes my workouts are a bit shorter during the busy summer days, or I just squeeze 7-8 minutes here and there, and make them as hard as I can handle… and I learn to be content with that.
Here are some 10 minute cardio workouts that burn calories and make me feel great:
- Run faster than normal; it’s only 10 minutes
- Walk as fast as I can without running—harder than you think!
- Walk or run up and down the stairs for 10 minutes straight; it’s fun to run up and walk down to recover
- 10 minutes cardio on any aerobic machine you happen to have at home
- Hill walking! Recover with a slow walk back down and repeat!
- A combination of jumping jacks, jogging in place, butt kicks (try to kick your butt as you run), ski hops, jump rope, plyometric lunges (normal lunge, then switch leg while you jump), squat jumps, dance!
~ No matter what, I eat my vegetables; I may splurge on more sweets than normal, but I still eat my greens. They make me feel great, and keep me regular…
~ No matter what my mind tells me, I don’t skip food during the day because I am going to a picnic later that day; I have found that to simply be a recipe for disaster through and through… I do much better when I get to the party not starved and ready to eat a house!
~ No matter what, I don’t let myself get down on myself. If I blow it, I simply go on from where I was. And here is my little secret if I really, really mess up: two days of just fruits and veggies to reset myself!
~ No matter what happens, I choose to enjoy the times with my family and friends.
And here are eight ways to control yourself during summer picnics and always:
1.Break leftovers down: divide them up into individually-sized containers, so you just eat one helping at a time!
2. Eat salads or light soups before big meals as a sure way to curb your appetite and give you a sense of satiety sooner.
3. Figure out what your trigger foods are and stay away from them, or package them in individual bags—you become much more aware of what you eat this way.
4. Eat lots of mini meals to make sure your blood sugars stay even throughout the day. Your energy level will stay up and you won’t overeat because you will never get so hungry that you lose control of portion intake.
5. Bring a healthy dish to share. There will be at least one thing you can load up on!
5. Keep seconds away. Keep pots and dishes away from the table (I keep mine on the counter and stove) so that you actually have to get up to get seconds. It makes a difference, believe me.
6. Treat yourself; remember, you are not on a diet–you just have a healthy lifestyle. So dessert isn’t forbidden at all. Just make it NEWAY acceptable and enjoy it thoroughly!
Happy Fourth to YOU!