Summer Nutrition

Six Ways to Stick with your Nutrition Plan This Summer
Stick with your nutrition plan this summer.

Summer is always filled with many social activities. It is a busy time for many people, sometimes making it difficult to stay on track with your nutrition. However, it does not have to be as difficult as it is made out to be. You can still chase your goals while participating in all the summer fun. 

Whatever your gym goals may be, whether weight loss, performance, or muscle gain, nutrition is essential to reaching them. If you need guidance with these goals, it is often beneficial to talk to a nutrition coach for a more personalized approach. Click here for information on nutrition coaching. 

However, even if you are not ready to jump into nutrition coaching, there are quite a few things to keep in mind that will help you in your journey. 

Be Prepared for the week

This is a HUGE one. On long days when you are hungry and tired, the last thing you feel like doing is making a meal at home. It is easy to reach for the closest food, and that usually ends up being something like chips or candy. While those are fine in moderation, eating them hungry does nothing to satisfy, and you end up wanting more and more, eating far more than just a couple of servings. 

This is where meal prep can make a difference. Depending on your time, set aside one to two hours each week to prepare food for the week. If you don’t have much time, focus on just a couple of things: make some protein (chicken, beef, etc.) and then a carb (rice, potato, etc.) that you can grab a serving of each and make into a meal. Maybe have a container of guacamole at the ready to top it off. 

When we have these satiating meals, we are far less likely to grab the unhealthy choices first. AFTER we eat a healthy meal, we can include a serving of chips if it fits our plan, and having a good meal first will make it far less likely to overeat. 

Don’t starve yourself

If your goal is weight loss, it is tempting not to eat anything all day to ‘save’ up calories for later. I have done this myself, and in the end, this only makes it that much harder to stop eating when you finally allow it.

Just like I stated above, this makes it far easier to grab the unhealthier food options first. 

Preparing food for yourself to eat throughout the day not only lets you perform better in the gym (and in life in general), but it also makes it less likely that you will overeat certain foods later on. Start seeing your nutrition as a way to support your lifestyle instead of the other way around.

Get your protein

Once more, this goes hand in hand with being prepared for each day. No matter your goals in the gym, getting your daily protein will only aid your progress, and it will also allow you to feel far more satiated throughout the day. 

Prioritize protein and make a plan to prepare it for the week. You will find that you stay fuller for longer and don’t have as many cravings. Plus, depending on your specific goals, you will build or maintain your muscle mass. 

Be mindful at gatherings

Summer is the time for all the barbeques and backyard gatherings. It is a time for fun and should not be missed out on. However, this does not mean that you have to ‘throw away’ your plan every time you attend one of these events. 

It also does not mean you can not enjoy the festivities. This is a time to practice mindful eating, and if you actually listen to your body, you will find that there is absolutely no harm to be found in enjoying a burger at that barbeque. 

I can not state this enough, but preparation is key here. Don’t go to an event starving, or you will most likely over-eat all the delicious, high-calorie foods that don’t fill you up nearly as much as nutrient-dense foods. After all, the first food readily available at these parties is usually chips or some sort of dessert, and if you are already hungry, that is what you will go to. 

So, eat normally though the day before a barbeque, and when you get there, be mindful of what you eat. Don’t over-indulge because it seems the only way to ‘enjoy yourself.’ Instead, take a modest portion of the things you wish to taste, don’t go back for seconds, and focus on being present in the moment. Focus on the connections with others over the food. 

Stay hydrated

In the summer, it is easy to get dehydrated. This can make it harder to make good decisions, and thirst is very often misplaced for hunger. 

If you do not already, this is the perfect time to buy a big ‘ol water bottle and make it a priority to refill it multiple times throughout the day. 

Everything in Moderation

Sustainable nutrition calls for moderation. While it is true that ‘healthier’ foods will keep you far more satsified, it is perfectly okay to include small portions of the food you love that may be deemed as ‘unhealthy’. This keeps us from overeating later on and keeps cravings at bay. 

For example, I started a nutrition plan this summer, and I LOVE chocolate. So, when I go to the grocery store, I buy two chocolate bars: one is an indulgent milk chocolate with toffee that I usually eat on the weekend. I also buy a 90% dark chocolate bar. Of that, I eat 1-2 squares daily. This allows me to have what I want in moderation and include something that satisfies my love for chocolate every day. 

Everyone is different, and it takes time to find what works for us. No matter what, it will always be different from person to person. All we can do is accept that our nutrition journey is always a learning process, and we should not skip out on life while on that road. 

Written by Karisa Stapp

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