By Ayotunde Adeyeri, MD, FASMBS, Medical Director, IWL
Really, Dr. Adeyeri, I’m supposed to focus on weight loss during the summer?
Summer is an ideal season to ramp up your weight loss and fitness regime. Of course, this can be easier said than done.
With these warm months come summer BBQ invitations and relaxing nights spent at your favorite Jersey Shore establishments.
Below are my five favorite summer tips to help continue your bariatric weight-loss momentum while you enjoy the sun, beach, pool, parks–and tons of fresh ‘real’ food.
1. You control the summer barbecue food, not the other way around
At any BBQ situation, you’re going to face poor quality food that isn’t part of your program. Make a game out of what bari healthy options are available (protein first) and fill in with fruits, vegetables and lots of calorie-free, water-based drinks. Some people prefer to pay it safe and pack a few small Tupperware containers filled with the foods they know are on plan and portion-controlled.
2. Expand your food horizons
By now, you’ve found out what “clean eating” is and how delicious it can be. Take a road trip and sample real foods from local farmers’ markets (I hear there are good stands in downtown Woodbridge and Freehold) or spend an hour at the grocery store discovering a new array of seafood, vegetables or fruits to try.
3. Clear the clutter
As you take back control of your nutrition and exercise, clean up the physical space of your home, office or car as well. Turn up the air conditioning, grab a recycling bin and a garbage bag and start decluttering that room, dresser, closet or car trunk that drives you crazy. Organize your physical space and boost your mental outlook as well.
4. Change up the exercise regime
Don’t think taking a Zumba or Pilates class is for you? Try it once, you may be surprised. Borrow or rent a bike and ride at the park. Do you always walk in the morning? Try an energetic walk after dinner when it’s cooler and more peaceful.
5. Mix up your menus
Regardless of your food program, try some new recipes. They are easy to find online or feel free to check with our Sterling dietitian if you’re unsure of a recipe or ingredient).
6. Expand your horizons this summer
Haven’t visited the Shore or the PA mountains in five years? Get out of town for the day and treat your senses to something fresh and new. Have you wanted to try golf? Sign up for a few lessons at your local Rec Center. Interested in jazz? Treat yourself to an evening out at that new club.
Summer is a time that we all dream of taking our foot off the pedal for a few months—but not when it comes to your weight loss journey. You have a mission, a goal and the desire to change.
Nothing–not even the warm summer breeze of June, July and August–is going to pull you away from your mission. Enjoy the summer to your heart’s content, but keep your eye firmly fixed on the goal.