For many of us summer is a challenging time to stick to a routine conducive to weight loss. Now that the craziness of the season is over, take a moment to renew your fitness and health goals. Rethink your workout, diet, supplements, sleep, and self care to set yourself up for success. Use the Autumn Equinox as a way to restart and refresh! Take advantage of the cooler temps to focus on yourself and your well-being.
The summer heat may be breaking, but that is no excuse to stop hydrating. Make it a point to carry your refillable water bottle with you everywhere. Water is free, and staying hydrated is a really important tool in maintaining health and a healthy weight. The Institute of Medicine recommends that men drink 104 ounces (13 cups) of water per day, and women should drink 72 ounces (9 cups) of water per day. If you have a hard time hitting that target, consider using an app, like Waterlogged or Hydro Coach to help you quench your thirst! Another pro tip: drink your meals! Smoothies are a fantastic way to get in a little extra water AND nutrition. Try this Superfoods Coconut Water for a morning pre-breakfast boost, or even a Clean Green Smoothie for breakfast or lunch!
Cut Back on Alcohol.
As the summer social calendar winds down, consider scaling back on alcohol intake as well. The average beer has about 150 calories, the average glass of wine has about 125 calories, and cocktails can range quite a bit depending on what mixers are used. If you substitute a two-drink happy hour with a cup of tea or seltzer, you’re looking at at least 200 calories saved per day, not to mention the added motivation to keep moving!
Exercise With Friends.
Instead of meeting your friends for a drink, go for a walk and catch up. While walking may not seem like much of a workout, it’s a step in the right direction. On average, you burn 100 calories per mile. Not only are the extra steps physically good for you, walking is very good for your mental health. Taking a walk outside will help you reach your vitamin D quota, and the feel-good endorphins can improve your mood. Can’t get anyone to go with you? Load a good podcast on your smartphone and lace up your sneakers! The hardest part of any exercise routine is starting. Not only will your wallet thank you (those happy hours add up!), but you’ll also get extra exercise that doesn’t necessarily feel like exercise. Win-win!
Place an emphasis portion size and maximizing nutrition by reading labels and understanding what your body needs. Protein is important while trying to lose weight, as it satisfies your hunger and makes you feel “full” longer. Enjoy protein shakes on the go, and experiment with different ways you can make your snacks and meals work for you! These tips on Smart Snacking from Healthy Grocery Girl are a great start.
Eating healthy is a no-brainer to reach and maintain healthy weight, so skip the fad diet and make long-term, lasting changes to your eating habits. Often easier said than doen, healthy eating doesn’t need to be complicated. Simple swaps go a long way, like trading creamer for almond milk in your coffee. Make a plan with your doctor or nutritionist and let them help you stick to your goals. Pack healthy snacks to avoid convenient temptation. To instill lasting, well-formed habits, the first two weeks are the most important. Momentum is key to implementing new changes, so use the colder weather to springboard into better eating habits. Don’t beat yourself up over what you did or did not eat over the summer. Instead, use the seasonal change to get back on the horse. Take advantage of seasonal produce and cook hearty fall recipes, like curries, soups, stews, salads, and roasted veggies.
Seasonal change is a great cue to make healthy shifts. Start now, and by the time the holidays roll around you’ll be in the zone and ready to tackle a full and active winter.