Post-summer blues: 8 ways to get back on a healthy track
Summer is over. If you spent your summer eating your way through bikini season – enjoying too many BBQs and skipping over workouts for the beach club, now’s the time to get back in gear. Fall is the perfect time for new beginnings. You’ll likely be on a new schedule – back to the work grind post holiday. Now’s the time to set some healthy goals and get yourself back on a healthy track – here’s eight ways.
1. Create an Eating Schedule
One of the hardest things to do when it comes to getting back on track is adjusting your schedule. Getting back to early mornings and long days at work can be difficult after a long vacation break; what’s more it can disrupt your eating schedule. Developing a meal schedule allows your body to get back into a regular eating routine and helps you manage your diet better. Be sure to get up a bit earlier to eat a proper breakfast, plan your lunches and bring healthy snacks with you. Too many meetings to get back on track? Schedule your eating into your calendar – block some time in your calendar to get in a proper meal whenever possible. Eating at irregular times can drop blood glucose levels and leave you feeling hungry, cranky and irritable. Not to mention give you low energy levels and brain fog.Don’t hit the wall – eat at regular times to keep your energy levels sustained and your cravings manageable.
2. Take Advantage of the Weather
If you were able to survive the summer heat of the UAE, you’ll be looking forward to the more enjoyable, cooler fall months. Fall in the UAE really is the perfect weather for enjoying your workouts outside. Take your runs to the beach, or enjoy your weight training sessions at an outdoor gym. There are also plenty of pop-up boot camps and classes that can provide a social outlet and physical workout. Use the outdoors as motivation to enjoy not just your workout but also the scenery. Additionally, consider signing up to one of the many running and obstacle course races that come back to life come fall; especially if you need that extra motivation to get your fitness back on track.
3. Enjoy Fall Favourite Foods
Fall foods like apples, sweet potatoes, cauliflower and pumpkin are all high in fibre, low in calories and offer up plenty of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. Sweet potatoes and pumpkin can be roasted or mashed. Eaten as a yummy side, or add roast cubes of either to salads. They can also be blended into soups or baked into muffins. Apples can be eaten as a snack, baked and added to mashes, dropped into pancakes, chopped and added to salads or baked with cinnamon and eaten as a sweet dessert. Cauliflower can be mashed, or roasted, diced into cauliflower rice, or even made into a low carb pizza crust if you’re feeling ambitious! Low carb and low calorie – a perfect food for kick starting your fall weight loss.
4. Get Ahead of the Holidays
Summertime is over, fall is here and before you know it the holiday season will be upon us again.Don’t delay – get back on track and ahead of your goals now. Following a regular diet plan, and exercise programme will ensure you’re back on track to a healthier lifestyle, and ready for whatever the holidays throw at you – including extra calories and no time for exercise. The few months you have ahead of the holidays can also provide enough time to get into healthy lifestyle habits. You’ll be less likely to cheat on your diet or skip workouts if you have made being fit a part of your lifestyle.
5. Gym It
If you want to get back on track fast, the gym will have to be included. That means following a regular exercise routine, including weights to tighten and tone your body and cardio to help maintain your fitness. Gyms can certainly be busy in the fall – you may have to wait for equipment, fight for the treadmill and deal with a large influx of gym newbies, but after a few weeks the gym will slow down. Be patient, don’t fall off track, keep going and find your routine. Pick off hours – delay your workouts till later at night or earlier in the mornings. There will also be a new line up of classes to enjoy – maybe now’s the time to start a new activity and learn something new.
6. Keep Yourself Accountable
This can be the hardest part when it comes to any weight loss or exercise plan, especially if you haven’t had the best track record before. Informing people of your goals is one way to get on track – tell your family and your friends circle. You never know, maybe you’ll find out that someone else shares your goals and you can support each other in pursuit of your new lifestyle. Hiring a coach is another way to keep you accountable and moving forward. Plus, a professional can ensure you meet goals.
7. Plan Meals
If you want to be sure you don’t set yourself up to fail, consider following a regular meal plan. It’s not so hard these days to make sure you get the right food you need to support your goals. There are many options when it comes to meal prep; you can even create your own meal plans.
Use your weekends wisely, take one day to meal prep and plan what you’ll eat for the week. Even the grocery stores have you covered with plenty of pre-cut veggies and fruit – saving you prep time. Not sure how many calories you should be eating or for that matter or what type of diet you should be following? Seek the advice of a nutritionist to help you determine your current situation and build a plan that suits your needs and goals.
8. Don’t Fall For Gimmicks or Quick Fixes
It can be tempting to give into the latest fad diet to get quicker results, but the reality is that quick fix diets don’t do much for long term results. You’ll lose weight, but it’s unlikely that you’ll keep that weight off.Quick fix fad diets usually use extreme measures to give results – eliminating certain foods, or following certain restrictive regiments to get quick results. Instead – go with slow and steady. Losing weight at a rate of 1 kg per week will ensure you’re dropping fat weight, and not just water weight. Following a sustainable diet with a balance of macronutrients will ensure that you can keep to a healthy diet for the long run, avoiding rebounds for good.
Who is Lauren?
With more than 20 years’ experience designing nutrition products, supplements and meal plans, Lauren is an expert in her field. She has worked with professional rugby and football players, as well as physique and fitness competitors, and holds a degree in nutritional biochemistry, specialising in sports nutrition and supplementation, from Trent University in Canada.
Follow Lauren on Instagram and Facebook: @sexyfitlauren, or read her blog at sexystrongfit.com