Summer holiday season is here, which means Memorial Day, 4th of July and, if we're lucky, any number of days spent lounging next to the grill for one of our favorite pastimes...eating yummy food. Hot dogs, chips, burgers, beer...there's no better time to indulge in these holiday favorites. Well, except for the extra calories and, possibly, the extra weight we may be carrying when all is said and done. But, there are some simple things you can do to minimize the damage while still enjoying your summer.
Having a Healthier Holiday
Enjoying summertime picnics and 4th of July parties is great, but it pays to be discriminating when hitting the buffet table. It's tempting to eat everything in sight, but you can avoid going overboard by:
·Indulging in special treats. Instead of eating chips, crackers or other munchies you can get any time of the year, save your indulgences for those things you only get on the holidays like homemade ice cream or apple pie.
·Watch the alcohol. When it's hot outside, there's nothing like a cold beverage to cool you down. But extra alcohol can add more calories to your waistline than you might imagine. It can also dehydrate you, which can be dangerous if it's hot outside. Try to moderate your intake by drinking a glass of water between each drink.
·Eating before the party. Many of us go all day without eating in anticipation of a party, but if you show up starving, you're much more likely to overeat. Eat small, healthy meals before you go so you can make better choices and avoid temptation.
·Filling up on the good stuff first. Before filling up on fattier foods, munch on fruits, vegetables or other healthy choices. You'll eat less of the fatty foods, but you can still enjoy them.
·Staying active. If you're having a picnic or a party, try to plan some activities to get you moving. A pick-up football or basketball game, tossing a frisbee, playing volleyball or swimming are great ways to have fun while moving around.
·Staying away from the buffet table. Once you fill your plate, settle somewhere away from the food. Many of us nibble mindlessly if there's food nearby, so get what you need and give yourself plenty of time to feel full so you don't go back for seconds or thirds.
·Having fun. Being choosy doesn't mean you can't have any fun. Holidays are a time to enjoy yourself and by doing so in a reasonable way, you can make your holiday guilt-free.
Staying Active Throughout the Summer
Keeping up with your exercise routine is also essential for managing your weight over the summer but, even if you get off track, there's no need to panic. We all gain weight at times and, if you're careful, you can shave those pounds off in no time. The following are some workout ideas you can try but, please, modify according to your fitness level and goals:
If you are exercising and still find you've gained a bit of weight, there are some simple things you can do to boost your calorie burn and help get those extra pounds off.
·Add more walking. It may not seem like much, but even an extra 10 minutes a day of walking can help you burn a few more calories and stay more active.
·Add intensity to your workouts. Try interval training, working out for a few extra minutes or adding some high-intensity moves to your routine like jumping jacks or sprints. For more, check out more ways to add intensity to your workouts.
·Eat a little less. Again, it may not seem like much but eating a little less for each meal can also help you shave off some extra pounds without going hungry. Try measuring your food for a few days and loading up on high-fiber fruits and veggies, which helps you stay full while eating fewer calories.
·Add an extra day of exercise. If you're not exercising every day, try adding another workout day to your routine. It doesn't have to be intense, but a little yoga, gardening, walking or cycling is another way to burn some extra calories.
Making small changes each day, whether it's a few more minutes of exercise or fewer bites of lunch or dinner can add up over time, helping you get rid of those extra pounds without having to drastically change what you're doing.
Bob Zunino, B.A., A.F.A.A. Personal Trainer Tel/Fax: 510.530.3748 Email: email@example.com