Don't Let the Relaxing Summertime Sabotage Your Routines

Article By: Whittany Gibson, RDN

Whittany is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist who specializes in bariatric nutrition counseling, providing education and support prior to and following weight loss surgery.

Goodbye, chilly winter days, and hello, summertime! It's the perfect time to soak in the sun, put on some shades, and enjoy the beauty and warmth of nature. We all deserve a break from the stress and hustle of everyday life, but it's important to remember that our health should never take a break. Summertime is a great opportunity to continue with our ongoing health goals, but too often, the relaxed schedule sabotages our attempts to stick to good routines and habits. In this blog post, we'll discuss some of the common ways our summertime schedules undermine our healthy behaviors and how to overcome them.

1) Lack of structure & routine. When we're on vacation or our kids are out of school, it's easy to slip out of structure and routines. We stay up late, sleep in, and eat at odd hours. This lack of routine can make sticking to a healthy eating habit a challenge. Irregular meals can disrupt our metabolism and cause hunger spikes, leading us to grab unhealthy snacks or overeat. Our bodies work best when we eat at consistent times, so it's essential to maintain regular meal patterns during the summer months. Keeping a consistent breakfast, lunch, and dinner schedule with some healthy protein-rich snacks in between can help regulate our appetite and prevent impulsive eating.

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2) Eating out more often. Summer is fantastic for barbecues, pool parties, and outdoor picnics. Unfortunately, eating out often means consuming more calories, saturated fats, and carbohydrates, which can increase your risk for obesity and other chronic diseases. It doesn't mean you should avoid social gatherings, but try to make wise choices when choosing your food. Opt for lean meats, vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. Avoid loading up on high-calorie sauces, heavy appetizers, and sweet desserts. If possible, bring your own healthy dish to share.

3) Too much alcohol consumption. Summertime brings fun and relaxation, and there’s no better way to enjoy it than having a refreshing cocktail by the beach or pool. While there’s nothing wrong with unwinding and indulging occasionally, it's important to avoid excessive alcohol consumption. Alcohol is high in calories and can impair your judgment, leading you to make unhealthy food choices. Drinking can also dehydrate your body, leaving you feeling sluggish and bloated. Instead of having a drink every time, try alternating it with a mocktail so you can stay refreshed but keep your alcohol intake within moderation.

4) Decreased physical activity. When temperatures rise, the last thing we want to do is to engage in strenuous physical activities outdoors. However, keeping up with your exercise routine is crucial for maintaining your health goals. The good news is that summertime provides plenty of opportunities for low-impact exercises that are both fun and healthy. Go swimming, biking, or hiking. Take morning walks with your dog or participate in outdoor yoga classes. Or simply stay indoors to do your exercise. Make physical activity a priority, and you'll reap the benefits of staying active, energized, and healthy.

5) Inconsistent sleep patterns. Long summer days and late-night outdoor events can wreak havoc on our sleep and circadian rhythms. Poor sleep quality can disrupt our hormonal balance and appetite regulation, thus impeding our weight loss efforts. It's important to stay consistent with your sleep schedule, getting 7-8 hours of sleep per night. Keeping your sleeping environment dark, cool, and quiet can also improve your sleep quality.

The summertime is a season of relaxation and pleasure, but that doesn't mean you have to sacrifice your health goals. Whether you've recently undergone weight-loss surgery or not, keeping up with healthy habits can be a challenge, but it's not impossible. By sticking to a healthy eating routine, making mindful food choices, avoiding excessive alcohol, staying active, and getting enough sleep, you can ensure that the season of fun and joy doesn't sabotage your health goals. Remember to stay focused on your well-being, make healthy choices, and enjoy the summer to its fullest!

BariMelts provides general recommendations, not to be construed as medical advice. Please consult your doctor.

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