Summer, the season for relaxation and spending more time outdoors, whether it’s unwinding by the pool, beach or going for an evening walk. For many people, summer means taking a vacation and possibly relaxing the rules around what you eat and drink.

But overindulging this time of year isn’t good for you, whether you’re hitting the cocktails or the ice cream stand all summer or snacking on Christmas deserts throughout December.

Here’s how to enjoy the flavours and social events this summer while still staying on track with your health goals.

1. Keeping hydrated

Sometimes thirst can be mistaken for hunger. Make sure you’re sipping water throughout the day. Try tracking your fluid intake, one way to track is keeping count of the amount of bottles you’re consuming and ltr content of those as a guide. Or opt for a plain naturally flavoured calorie-free water, or squeeze some fresh lemon in your bottle or glass.

2. Aim for filling, quality foods

Fill your plate with nutrient-dense food choices so you’ll feel fuller at the end of your meal. This tactic may keep you from feeling the need to have dessert or to load up on the pastas or fries.

Focus on plenty on Fresh foods and lean proteins such as eggs or lean meats with water-filled vegetables, in order to limit overindulging on less filling, more calorific foods.

3. Consider your activity levels

If you’re upping your movement levels during summer such as more swimming, walking or cycling, you’ll burn more calories than usual and may need to eat more. But be honest with yourself about whether your chosen activity really warrants a calorie treat.

For example, a short stroll on the beach may not require a pre-workout meal but an intense game of volleyball or tennis may be boosted by some extra fuel or a meal to replenish afterwards.

READ MORE: Healthy snacks that will keep your appetite under control

4. Bring homemade food to the parties

If you’re invited to bbq’s and evening house parties the food choices may not be as healthy as you’d like. Instead, come up with a nutritious go-to side dish to take, like a high-grained, lentil or chickpea veggie-filled potato salad, fruit bowl or stuffed veggie tray. This way you’ll know that there are smart food choices available.

5. Be careful about alcohol intake amounts

Smoothies and juice drinks go down well in the summertime, but they’re also high in ‘hidden calories’ speciality cocktails like piña coladas and margaritas are filled with added sugar and sweeteners. If you’re not taking those into account, those calories can add up quickly and lead to weight gain. Furthermore, after a few, our control of choices is inhibited and often leads to an increase in food and beverage consumption without realizing it. Try to limit your alcohol intake or opt for spirits with low-calorie mixers such as tonic water, diet cokes instead of the beer and wine options.

 

 

 

 

I understand that it’s easy to stick to something when you enjoy with passion. We also understand that you can stick to something long enough if you really want to achieve great results (and if you’ve clearly decided that it’s something that you want to stick and work towards).

In many cases, getting in shape and feeling stronger isn’t actually most peoples passion, it’s a short term goal, and often it’s not something people give great thought to looking forward.

Now, this shorter-term goal could well turn into a passion or hobby further down the line, we’ve seen it happen so many times.

Often people think that they’ve got to plan way further into the future when they even contemplate making some changes to their body shape.

We can guarantee that many people who are leaner and fitter now (and find it easy to stay that way), at one point, simply decided to start eating a little healthier, tried a gym, before it escalated into something that became a bigger part of their life.

Many people dip in and out of losing weight, for months, if not years, before it finally becomes something they take more seriously and stick to more often. This decision can usually be triggered by a situation or circumstance in their life which has pushed them really to start and stick to a healthier lifestyle.

Pick up a copy of 12 Week Transformation Guide For Busy Men

Many people also overlook the fact that getting in shape is all about changing everything in one go (but not everything at the same time) it’s all about adapting your life, social networks, daily habits, and who you are on the inside.

We spend so much of our time, helping people when they dip back into their old habits. It’s inevitable when you work with people who are trying to change. Change doesn’t always come easy.

The point to this short article is to not focus too much on the future right at the beginning. Get started, surround yourself with people who have been through the change that you want to become. Learn bit by bit, change one small habit at each time, don’t get frustrated, enjoy the process, and we can assure you it’ll all become a huge part of your life before very long at all. The first few weeks or so can be the hardest time to adapt to your new lifestyle, but once some habits and solid foundations have been built it becomes easier.

If you focus too much on the future at the beginning, it all becomes way too overwhelming, and you often pull out for the fear of the change you can see ahead.

Enjoy the journey, it truly is life-changing.

 

Getting ill, picking up injuries or just needing a break are all valid reasons to occasionally take time away from your exercise routine. But sometimes these breaks last longer than we anticipate and many of us worry we’ll lose all the hard work and strength we worked so hard to build and end up starting back at square one.

How much time is ok away from exercise?

It’s safe to say taking a recovery day is considered best practice for a responsible training routine. So, while a day or two is great, how about a week? What about a month? How quickly do you lose strength once you stop training? The answer might not be as fast as you think: In most situations, big losses in strength don’t happen for about three months, with smaller, less significant losses can start around 3–4 weeks.

Good news

Even if you have to take as much as three months or more off from training, rest assured it won’t take you too long to regain your strength — especially if you were training consistently before you stopped.

Exactly how long it takes to regain your strength is hard to say, because it takes more than muscular strength to pull off an exercise. For example, if you could bench press 100 pounds for 6–7 reps, and then you took three months off from training, you may still be able to lift 300 pounds when you return to training — just not for 6–7 reps.

Similarly, if you could do 5 before your three-month break, you could probably knock out a couple pullups when you hop up to the bar again, but you may need to work back up to 5.

READ MORE: 7 Reasons Why To Start Strength Training Today

About Endurance

The reason actually has a bit less to do with a loss of strength as it does a loss of endurance. Doing pullups or press ups involves much more than your muscles, it also involves cardiovascular capacity, especially if you get into the higher reps such as eight or more.

As you do more reps of an exercise, your body builds up chemicals like lactic acid in the muscle. With more training, your body becomes more efficient at clearing out the lactic so you can complete your reps without fizzling out, but if you don’t exercise for a while, it takes a little time to build up that muscle endurance again.

See, cardiovascular fitness is one of the first things to go when you stop exercising, with noticeable declines happening within two weeks. For example, a recent study reveals four weeks of detraining led recreational marathon runners to lose roughly 3.6% of blood volume, which other research suggests may be the primary cause for early losses in cardiovascular capacity. Just keep in mind that how quickly you lose and regain cardiovascular fitness may depend on how long you’ve been training.

About strength

When it comes to strength, however, you’ll generally keep it for much longer, and be able to rebuild it fairly quickly compared to endurance. The reason: Your muscles “remember” the prior adaptations they made from strength exercises and can get back up to speed in less time than it took to build up and adapt than the first time.

Planning a return

If you’re restarting your strength-training routine after some time away, start with lighter weights, focus more on technique or fewer reps than you’re used to. Increase the weight gradually to give your tendons time to regain their elasticity.

Some go right back to lifting heavy weights while their tendons are still stiff: That’s where they run the risk of injury. So, whatever you do, don’t try to pick up where you left off.

 

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