It can be easier to eat well in the Summer, a time when there tends to be lots of fantastic fruit and vegetables in season and the weather no longer has you craving carb-heavy foods like bread and potatoes.
Summer however is also the time when social events stack up and many of these tend to have a strong focus on food and drink, which often results in a surplus of calories and intake of nasty saturated fats. Just one plate of fattening food can be enough to offset your balance and motivation for the rest of the week, which can be detrimental to your long-term diet plan and ability to resist even more sugar and carb-heavy grub.
So what’s the best way to avoid the excesses of the buffet table and stay health-focused this bank holiday weekend?
- A fantastically smart-but-simple tip is to sit as far away from the main food offering as you can, to ensure you’re less likely to be tempted to make return trips – it sounds like a tremendous cliché, but the phrase ‘out of sight, out of mind’ is not a bad mantra to follow.
- Focus on the deliciously colourful and healthy things you can enjoy and load up on them from the start. It’s those fatty, sugary treats that are lacking in fibre and can really impact our weight, so get strict about it and cut them out of your diet (as far as possible.) If you don’t buy these foods, you won’t have them to eat. If you keep (and maintain) this in your head as an unbreakable rule, it will make your ultimate weight loss goal easier to focus on (and achieve.) Junky, naughty foods don’t leave you feeling full for long, and despite the short-lived satisfaction they have very limited nutritional value, so it’s best to give it a miss on most occasions. It’ll be a far more satisfying and well-spent exercise to use your day’s calories on food that will both provide nourishment and keep you feeling full for longer.
- If you’re staying away from the booze, treat yourself to an exciting mocktail or light low-calorie alternative. Elderflower, lemon and lime flavours are delicious – just watch out for the high-sugar versions! Alternatively, dilute a glass of wine with sparkling or tonic water to make a healthy spritzer with a summer twist!
- Try to avoid that devilish temptation to wolf down your first plate of food without thinking – you’re far more likely to dive in for seconds without savouring the taste of the first and letting it settle!
- Help out your host and bring along a healthy home-made dish to the party that’s easy to divide into portions and is ultimately waist-friendly. That way, you can be comfortable going to the party knowing that there will be at least one dish you can enjoy healthily and without regret.
- However, as you think about these tips for avoiding the bank holiday bloat, remember to be kind to yourself. Lasting change takes time, and there are bound to be hiccups along the way. Keep your eye on long-term success by taking one step at a time and reward yourself with non-food or low-calorie treats.
- Finally, don’t deprive yourself. If there’s something you really want, have a small portion and savour it rather than telling yourself you can’t have it, as this is more likely to end in a binging session!