Top Five Tips for Your Fittest Summer Ever
Posted by Dr. Del | July 7, 2014
Well, summer is finally here and I’m sure that’s a relief to those of you on the east coast who experienced a pretty nasty winter. So what are your plans for the summer? Oh, let me guess, weekends at the beach, barbecues in the park, and lots of eating out. But if you’ve been training all year to look your best for summer, how can you enjoy all the festivities and still make this your fittest summer ever? Check out my top five tips below.
1. Downsize your plates
Let’s be honest, you are going to eat your high-calorie pasta salads and chips along with your burgers and beer. That’s what most people do during the summer months. But did you know that a simple change such as downsizing your plate could make a difference in the amount of calories you consume, thereby, reducing the possibility of weight gain? A Cornell University study found that by switching from 12 to 10 inch plates, participants were able to reduce their calorie consumption by 22 percent and lose nearly two pounds per month. And that’s without even changing what they were eating.
2. Eat better and you’ll look and feel better
We’re all creatures of habit. And most of us are used to doing what’s easy. Unfortunately, the things that are easy to do are not always the best choices for health and fitness. It’s easy just to grab a pizza, ice cream and a six-pack of beer when you go to the beach. But is this the best or wisest choice week after week? Not if you want to look and feel your best. So the next time you have a beach party with your friends, why not plan ahead a little? Why not be the game-changer instead of following what everyone else is doing? Why not try my way?
Pack a cooler with ice, bottled water, fruit salad, hummus, chicken breast or turkey sandwiches on whole wheat bread. You can even make your favorite fruit smoothie and freeze it ahead of time. After spending a couple hours in the sun, you’ll be ready for a cool delicious treat, while foregoing the excess calories of ice cream and other high-calorie choices. Not only that, you’ll feel a million times better.
3. Grill wisely.
While nothing can replace a great burger for most people, you might want to try chicken or turkey burgers, or look into leaner cuts of red meat, either by making your own burgers with extra-lean ground beef, or by getting your hands on some bison (buffalo) or venison burgers. As a general rule, wild game meats are leaner (simply because the animal is more active and eats a grass-based diet) than similar cuts of most cow or pork products.
Try a steak tenderloin (filet) — it’s a more expensive cut, but it’s leaner and naturally more portion controlled than a strip loin or rib eye steak. By the way, anything with the word “rib” in the title (including rib-eye steaks and pork ribs) tend to be the highest in saturated fats and calories. Summer is also a great time to get lots of fresh seafood, so why not throw some salmon, tuna or lobster on the grill for a great low calorie, protein packed meal. And don’t forget to throw some veggies on the grill too.
4. Hydrate often with a little twist
One of the things I love doing, especially in the summer, is to squeeze a slice of fresh fruit in my water. You can even freeze freshly squeezed fruit juices in an ice tray to use in your water throughout the day. This makes it much easier to keep hydrated because the fruity taste of the water will keep you drinking more. Remember, by the time you feel thirsty, your body is already dehydrated. So get in the habit of drinking a glass of water every hour, especially if you’re spending a lot of time outdoors.
5. Try something new
Whatever you’re doing for your fitness regime right now, try mixing it up a bit. Even if you’re a competitive athlete, try a new sport or activity. If you’re always on the bike, get in the water. If you’re a runner, get on the bike and explore new territories. Those of you who spend the entire winter in the gym, take it outdoors. Go workout in the park. Find a new bike path or trail and get out and explore. Try a completely new sport or activity to explore such as tennis, soccer, kayaking, mountain biking, trail running or whatever challenges you.
Summer is the perfect time to do some cross training because you can do a variety of indoor and outdoor activities. So take advantage of this time to take your fitness to the next level. This could be your fittest summer ever. Get out and make it happen.
Until next time, be well, do good and live inspired with passion and purpose.
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