Losing weight is hard. Even worse is being on a diet during wedding/baby shower/bbq/patio party/campfire/vacation season. Cocktails and cheesy appetizers and creamy desserts and slushy treats are everywhere, making sticking to a diet nearly impossible.
But it is possible to lose weight in the summer! And I would know–I trained for my first bikini competition over the summer during which time we also went on part 1 of our honeymoon to the buffet capital of the world, Las Vegas! Every morning my workout would be finished before my husband even woke up. Sounds insane, but I had a goal and I wasn’t going to let a vacation completely derail my progress (but don’t worry, I most definitely indulged at the chocolate fountain…).
So, here are my weight loss tips for sticking to your diet in the summer:
One: don’t fill up before you go. Filling up at home so that you don’t eat when you get to a party is great if you have strong willpower. But if you don’t have strong willpower it means you’re going to fill up at home then fill up again at the party. Be realistic! If you know you’re not going to be able to say no to a piece of wedding cake, then simply make room earlier in the day to allow for it.
Two: don’t arrive starving. Don’t starve all day so that you can have a huge meal at the bbq. You will be so hungry and your willpower will be so weakened that the second you smell that sweet bbq sauce you will gorge. Not to mention the damage you’ll do to your metabolism! Think about it this way: if you go all day without eating, you put yourself into starvation mode. Your body thinks that you are stranded on a desert island. As soon as you break the starvation with a huge meal, your body thinks you were able to scavenge some food but will worry that you’re still on the island. Your metabolism shifts form fat burning to fat storing. Yuck! So make room in your plan for a bigger dinner but don’t skip breakfast and lunch!
Three: be a sampler. If you find yourself blindsided by the most amazing candy buffet table you’ve ever seen, you have two choices, willpower or indulgence. Indulging doesn’t have to lead to gorging if you are a sampler. Look at everything on the table and chose two or three things you just must try. And then try them–but don’t finish them. Take a bite and really savour it. After that bite, put it down, take a sip of water, and enjoy the flavours. Don’t eat the whole thing, just have a little sample to satisfy the craving. Sample one or two more things and be done, because those bites still add up!
Four: keep quiet. Don’t tell people you’re on a diet. The more people you tell, the more you’re going to have to talk about it and justify it and hear people telling you why you shouldn’t be on a diet. Plus people don’t like to see others succeed, especially at dieting (because most people don’t like their bodies and most people have failed at dieting. Sad but true). So keep it to yourself and avoid sabotage.
Five: ask for a steak. If you have a choice, always go for a grilled meat with a vegetable rather than a pasta. Even though many restaurants post the nutritional info of their foods, you just don’t know how much sauce the chef has given you or if he added a larger handful of Parmesan than the info considered. Steak, on the other hand, will be weighed to a particular size and can be ordered without any sugary fatty sauces and still taste delicious.
My trick for salads is to dip my fork in the dressing so I get a little taste with each bite. Speaking of salads–at restaurants they can have the highest fat and calories thanks to all the nuts and seeds and dried fruit and cheese! Those are good healthy foods but all I’m saying is don’t order the pecan cranberry salad and think it’s the same as the spinach with carrots.
Six: never put down your water. Always have a glass of water in your hand. It reminds you to drink and prevents you from using that hand to mindlessly snack. Usually when we feel hungry we are actually thirsty, so drinking water will make you feel full. And following rule number four, if you’re holding a beverage people won’t offer you beverages–they don’t have to know it’s just water!
Seven: practice willpower. Willpower is a muscle; the more you use it the stronger it gets. Practice saying no and choosing the steak and drinking water and sampling at every opportunity so your willpower gets strong! Eventually you will actually want the steak and the water and you won’t even be interested in the candy buffet.
Eight: Forgive and move on. If you have a diet slip up, just forgive yourself (you’re human and food is delicious!) and get back on track in your very next meal. Not tomorrow, or Monday, or next week. Immediately! One slip up is no big deal, but a whole day or a whole weekend of overeating can be catastrophic to your progress. And the longer you go off the wagon the harder it is to get back on.
Nine: have a fall goal date. Plan to do something special that you want to look great for after summer party season is over. Maybe it’s a bikini competition or your wedding or a boudoir photo shoot (check out this post all about that!). Have something to motivate you to keep you on track. And when you reach that goal date, make a new one for the winter.
Ten: don’t be on a “diet”. Diets don’t work–if they did, you’d only need to go on one once! Instead, find a way of eating that is maintainable for the rest of your life. You want to be able to eat as much as possible and work out as little as possible to look as wonderful as possible! Dipping into the 1,200 calorie zone and doing hours of cardio a day may have short term results but the weight gain yo-yo will give you whiplash. Be smart and be healthy!
So now you can still enjoy the summer parties and get your smoking hot body ready for fall!
(Bonus tip: be creative: The turquoise ombré cake in these photos is completely sugar free and naturally sweetened. It’s actually a baby food cake recipe made using bananas and apple sauce filled with an avocado and cocoa icing and frosted with whipped coconut milk. Totally diet friendly. So, even on a diet you can eat birthday cake, just be creative! Comment below if you want me to share the recipes.)