Long weekends away, your kids’ all-day swim meets, and late-night barbecues thanks to daylight saving time: With August in full-swing, you may feel like your regular routine has all but disappeared. Everything that makes summer relaxing and fun may begin to make your medical weight loss plan a bit more challenging. If so, try these tips to keep your weight loss plan from melting down in the summer heat:
- Analyze Your Summer Schedule. Set aside a bit of time at the beginning of each week and scrutinize the upcoming seven days. What’s happening that could derail your weight loss plan? Write down any altered routines and troubleshoot a bit. What can you do to make sure you stay on track? If your daughter has a soccer tournament, bring snacks so you don’t end up hitting a fast-food joint. If the neighbor you always walk with is going on vacation, make a plan to get exercise some other way. There are also lots of great ways to stay on track while you’re on vacation.
- Recommit Yourself. Remember why you’re losing weight in the first place. We’ve discussed the power of affirmations and commitments previously, and encouraged you to put them front and center in your life. When summer craziness threatens to wreak havoc, reinstate order by putting your list of reasons for losing weight where you can see them regularly, no matter where you are. This might mean typing up another list and putting it on the fridge at your lake or beach house, in addition to your home. Or bring it with you on vacation, and tape it to the TV in your hotel room! Some women swear by wearing bracelets, with beads or trinkets that each represent a commitment to or reason for weight loss. Be as creative or straightforward as you want—just find something that works for you and your summer schedule.
- Look on the Sunny Side. Summer can also give you lots of great opportunities to amp up your weight loss plan, so make sure you take advantage of them. For example, daylight saving time gives you an extra hour to exercise, tend a garden, or cook a healthy meal. Make the decision to use this extra time—at least a couple times a week if not more—in a way that benefits your health and helps you lose weight. Research also suggests that very hot weather suppresses appetite, which can work to your advantage. This is also a great opportunity to tune in to and listen to your appetite, rather than eating on autopilot. Finally, there’s the delicious array of fresh fruits and vegetables you have access to. Make it a family affair and go peach-picking together, or do a vegetable swap with neighbors who also have a green thumb.
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