Who doesn’t love summer? Beach BBQ’s, weekend getaways, afternoons spent sharing pitchers on the patio…ah, the best of times. It can also be the highest calorie of times. As summer starts to approach, we put our nose to the grindstone and start to prepare for ‘beach season.’ Months out we begin focusing on improving our diet, getting extra workouts in, and doing whatever it takes so when the first pool party invite finds it’s way into our inbox, we don’t scream and run into the closet.

So what happens when summer finally arrives? We throw our healthy habits and inhibitions to the summer breeze. Then halfway through summer, we start to notice the scale has crept up a little, short shorts are feeling a little tight, and crop tops aren’t as appealing, and summer isn’t even over! Wahhhh!

Well as always, I gotta look out for my hard working ladies who refuse to miss out on the fun. So don’t worry girlfriend, I got chu! By following these eight simple steps, you’ll be rocking your toned bod all summer long without missing out on any summer shenanigans.

So without further ado….

9 Tips to Avoid Summer Weight Gain

  • Exercise…duh. Yeah, obviously. But the trick….exercise in the morning. At the end of a work day, things come up, it’s probably nice out, you’re kind of tired from a long work day, and you’re friends have invited you to a beach bbq which sounds much more inviting than an indoor gym. My point is, getting our daily dose of exercise can easily be put aside in the afternoons, so set your alarm earlier and get it done before the day commences. Now you have all afternoon to enjoy the beautiful options summer brings.

In need of some support when it comes to working out? Click here.

  • Alcohol is one of the fastest ways to put on summer weight. Alcohol itself is very high in sugar, then we add ciders, beers, coolers, sodas and juices to the mix and well.…you may have had nothing to eat but a salad all day, but you’re still skyrocketing the calories. So what’s the answer for this? Because I’m sure as shit not going to tell you to not drink. Clear alcohol & mixes. Opt for clear spirits which contain less sugar and colouring and choose to mix with soda or water. Add flavour by adding citrus fruits like grapefruit, lemon or lime and herbs like mint or basil.

See my recipes for healthy summer cocktails here!

  • Not eating until your stuffed. This one is A LOT trickier than it sounds and is probably the most effective in staying lean throughout the year. When we have a few bevy’s in us, it’s very easy to over indulge and stuff our faces. #drunkeats. We consume much more than we need, then shortly we’re slapped in the face with fatigue and bloating. Even if we’re dead sober, we often eat much more than our body needs. It’s a bad habit I think most of us have adopted for the better part of our lives.You should be pushing your plate away before you feel the sensation of being full. For example, if you were to rate hunger on a scale, 1 being starved and 10 being so full you could puke, you should fall around a 6. You’re not hungry, in fact, you probably could eat more but keep in mind, it takes around 20 minutes to digest our food. So wait 20 minutes, go for a walk, put the dishes away then see how you feel. Because we’re so used to eating until very full, falling around a 8, stopping at a 6 is going to seem very foreign the first couple times. But you’ll quickly become addicted to the marvellous energy and mood it brings!If this is something you struggle with, get in touch with me. Overeating is something I specialize in having dealt with it a lot myself! Plus extra accountability always helps. See number 8!

  • Water water water! One of the first things I tell my clients is that our bodies have a difficult time telling the difference between hunger and thirst. Often when I find myself wondering into the kitchen, my rule is, chug a huge glass of water. Wait 10 minutes then see how you feel. Most often, I was just thirsty. This rule especially applies in the summer when we tend to be more active accompanied with more sweat. Drinking lots of water also helps flush out toxins, assisting in digestion (always remembering to drink water 20 minutes before your meal and waiting 20 minutes after your meal). Undergroundhealthreport.com states “Water allows your kidneys to filter toxins, helps your cells take in nutrients and remove waste, and transports nutrients to every organ in your body. If you don’t drink enough water, then you might be suffering from a buildup of toxins throughout your body—from your kidneys to your bloodstream—and the effect is most definitely compromising your immune system.”So grab a BPA free water bottle and drink up!

  • Take some time, save a ton of calories. Plan ahead to avoid eating out all the time. When summer comes, we try to get outside as much as possible. This means less time inside preparing meals and more time getting take out and eating on the go. There’s a reason why take out taste so good. It’s packed with sugar, salt, oils and other fatty ingredients that don’t support our summer bod. Just a few hours once or twice a week can save you thousands of calories and keep you on track with your goals. It’s like the old saying you’ve heard 1000x “failing to prepare is preparing to fail”. There are a ton of great recipes out there that are quick and easy to make and perfect for enjoying outside. Try my Pesto Pasta Salad for instance. Inexpensive and fast to make, always a crowd pleaser and perfect for taking to the beach or park. Pick out a couple recipes you would like to try and spend a few hours Sunday night preparing them so all week you’ll have delicious, healthy meals at your finger tips.

  • BBQ’s are almost always filled with store made potato salad, chips, and gross processed meats that are thrown into an empty calorie white bun and covered with high sugar condiments. BYE hard earned ab definition! See you never!There are a few answers to keeping your BBQ-attending from wrecking havoc on your hard work.
    • When going to a potluck/bbq, bring something YOU would eat. A healthy option to load up on. Bring the pasta salad from number 5 or add homemade veggie patties to your prep day and store them in the freezer so when you get that last minute BBQ invite, grab your pattys, pick up a head of iceberg lettuce for lettuce wraps and your off to the races.
    • Try to have a snack before arriving. Make a smoothie for the road, have an apple, put something in your stomach, so you don’t show up starving and head straight for the chip table.
    • Don’t stand around the chip table!! People love to gather around snacks chatting and stuffing their faces without knowing what or how much their eating. Don’t be this person. Make yourself a plate of snacks (hummus, veggies, fruit. Sorry not sorry, no chips! You want a beach bod? No chips!) and take your plate away from the table. Enjoy your food and stop when you’ve reached that satiated level 6. Now you have tons of energy, feel great about your decision and can kill it in the beach volleyball court without feeling weighed down and gross from the high-preservative fatty food.
  • Not eating 3 hours before bed. This is a big one and a tough too as the sun sets a lot later in the summer, which can often cause us to eat later. This goes back to number 5 and how important prep is and to have healthy meals on hand. You want to go to bed in an almost hungry state. When you go to sleep on a full stomach, your body is still working to digest and not getting the rest and relaxation it needs. This can create problems for your insulin and blood sugar levels, which can prompt your body to store more fat. Think of it this way, when Sumo wrestlers want to gain weight, they eat a big meal then go to sleep. If that doesn’t convince you to go to bed on an empty stomach….

  • Accountability. There is no doubt that when you have someone to report to, you are much more likely to execute your goals, complete the task at hand or finish the assignment on time. Accountability is everything when trying to lose weight and achieve your health and fitness goals. Reporting to someone on your progress creates a level of pressure. Letting yourself down is one thing, but as humans, we never want to let anyone else down. I have clients who started with daily 10-minute phone call check-ins to get started, then went to weekly to keep the ball rolling. Contact me or find a friend to create scheduled check-ins with. Just be sure to find someone you know will support you but offer a bit if tough love to push you and get you motivated on the hard days.

  • 80/20 There is no doubt that it will take hard work and dedication to get you to reach your goal. Part of that is knowing when to let go and have fun and when to be disciplined. So pick your battles. Choose your moments to sip a soda with lemon or shotgun a beer with your buddies. The harder you work throughout the week, listening to your body, staying focused on the outcome you want, the more enjoyable those moments are of letting go. The trick is knowing how to get back to the grind the next day and the day after that. This also applies to number 5. Spend the little bit of extra time prepping your meals so when you choose to eat out with friends, you aren’t feeling guilty about it.

See this summer’s healthy mocktail recipes here

Bringing it all together.

Eating clean and feeling great about your energy, your body, and your hard work should be fun in itself. We don’t always need to drink or eat shitty food in order to have fun. Of course you can occasionally find me popping champy and getting in a heated match of flip cup with my girls, but know, those moments are backed by hours and hours of hard work and dedication towards my goals. So your take away is, as always, make yourself proud. Take yourself to new limits being a better person than you were the day before. In all aspects of your life. Work hard, chose your moments to let go, and always make sure you’re having fun in the process.