Especially during summertime, the struggle is real when it comes to dieting. At least for me! Summer parties, happy hours with friends, vacations and weekend getaways, and the list goes on. It seems like there’s always an event going on that involves unhealthy food and alcohol. If you’re still after (or trying to maintain) that summer bod, you’re not alone. Here are a few things keeping me on track with healthy eating as of late:
Get rid of tempting food
It’s 9pm and your sweet tooth hits hard, so you dig through your kitchen and find some cookie mix in the back of the cupboard. You decide to whip it up, and after eating a few…or 10, the regret sinks in. No judgments, I’ve totally been there. To keep things healthy, get rid of everything – yes, everything – in your kitchen that might tempt you. That includes the cookie mix that you haven’t touched in a year, and the half eaten carton of ice cream in the freezer!
Regulate your blood sugar
To keep your body from producing hormones that trigger hunger, it’s important to keep your blood sugar in check. An easy tip here is to make sure you’re eating foods high in protein and (healthy) fats. This will also keep you full. Although something like popcorn might sound like a healthy, low-cal snack, the higher carbs and lower protein can actually cause your blood sugar to spike shortly afterwards. And once that happens, you’ll be back in your cupboard looking for your next snack – which is exactly what you’re trying to avoid. To keep your blood sugar balanced, opt for protein-rich and low-sugar snacks. I’m a big fan of celery and peanut butter or almonds and blueberries.
Find a buddy
It’s easier to stick to something when you feel held accountable for it, period. Take working out for example. When you’re dreading a 7am spin class, but know you’re meeting your girlfriend there, you’re more likely to roll out of bed and make it to the class, right? Dieting with a friend will help you get through those tempting moments because you’ll have someone to hold you accountable – meaning you’re less likely to cheat. You can send each other yummy yet healthy recipes, too!
Allow a cheat meal
I’m a firm believer in this. Once a week, allow yourself to splurge and eat what you’re craving. The main thing here is to not go too crazy. Basically, don’t let your cheat meal turn into a cheat day, or give up if you ate one “bad” meal. Giving in to your cravings every so often will help you feel satisfied and actually keep you on track. Plus, you’ll have something amazing to look forward to each week (besides all those pounds you’ll be shedding)!
Make sure it works for you
There are SO many diets out there: low fat, low carb, high protein…the list goes on. Some might work for you, some may not. If you find yourself cranky on a low fat, restricted calorie diet, give a low carb, high fat diet a try. Our bodies are all so different, so of course no one diet will work for everyone. To set yourself up for success, listen to your body and find what’s sustainable for you before you even start the diet. Talking to a nutritionist beforehand is another way to make sure you’re doing a diet in a healthy way.
Walk when you crave
If you’re having a hard time getting past snacking on auto-pilot, go for a walk every time a craving hits (unless it’s the middle of the night, obviously). Cravings actually only last 15 minutes or so, and nature is supposedly an ideal distraction. So instead of snacking, switch that habit into walking instead. And the extra calories from extra walks each day are just a bonus.
Any other tips that have helped you stick to your diet?