Hey Angels and Alphas,
It’s safe to say – summer is officially here. And all the vacations, pool parties, and barbecues that come with it and start filling up your calendar. And let’s not forget, after a long year spent mostly indoors, it’s understandable that you’d have the temptation to lounge around with a piled-up hot plate than eat salads and hit the gym.
But fortunately, we can get the best of both worlds and enjoy all our summer season temptations without derailing our health and fitness in the process.
We all want to enjoy the treats that summer brings. But let’s focus on sticking to our goals and applying the 80/20 principle. If 80 percent of the time you’re focusing on high-quality produce, lean protein, healthy fat, and whole grains, then it’s okay to spend the other 20 percent of the time enjoying chips, ice cream, or a margarita by the pool.
Today, we’re here to explore 6 tips to best utilize the 80/20 principle and make summertime a time when we actually progress toward our goals and not get derailed from them.
Let’s get started.
#1 MINDFUL EATING!
Mindful eating is becoming more and more important as people tend to associate eating with other activities such as watching Netflix or listening to music. That’s why when you grab a burger off the grill, just sit down and savor it slowly and peacefully.
Opt for foods that require utensils rather than hand-held items. This will allow you to take your time with your food, enjoy it to its maximum capacity, and stop when you’re full – not when you’re so full you can’t take anymore.
#2 TURN TO SEASONAL PRODUCE
Summer is a season loaded with fresh, delicious produce. It doesn’t matter if you’re grilling in your backyard or hanging out by the pool with your friends, if you can make half your plate produce, you’re progressing. Salads – both fruit and veggie variations – are the ultimate starting point. Throw in some lean protein and carbs on top, and you’ve got yourself the perfect progress-inducing summer meal.
#3 USE SMART SWAPS TO MASTER THE 80/20 PRINCIPLE
Let’s get one thing straight – there’s more than one way to make a potato salad. And guess what – grilling doesn’t have to be all about meat! Trainers and nutritionist alike advise that you should lighten up your meals in the summer.
And here’s how you can do that: taking the example of a potato salad, why not try to lighten it up via Greek yogurt or a mustard-based dressing instead of flat mayo? Why don’t we grill mushrooms and other veggies in addition to steaks and hot dogs?
Speaking of meat, chicken breasts are one of the best alternatives to pork ribs or cuts of beef.
If you go in with the mindset of eating lighter meals, you’ll have no problem avoiding high-energy-density foods that rack up calories without you realizing it.
#4 BE STRATEGIC ABOUT YOUR SNACKS
Aside from chips and dips, what’s your favorite summer snack? If it’s something that has this salty, crunchy satisfaction factor to it, there’s a chance you might be going overboard with your snack calories.
Try to sneak in some healthy snacks this summer. Try whole-wheat crackers, pita chips, roasted veggie chips, or if we’re talking about dip, try protein-rich hummus or a Greek yogurt dip instead of sour cream. If you’re looking for ideas, a great dip idea is mixing ranch seasoning with 0 percent Greek yogurt – it’s a cool, fresh, creamy appetizer when served alongside cucumber slices and carrots.
#5 HYDRATE MORE. A LOT MORE.
Cold beers, ice coffee, and bubbly cocktails are go-to’s during the summer. But when you’re sweating in those sizzling hot summer days, your body needs one thing, and that’s water. If you don’t have a hydration plan, we suggest you get to it. Let’s not forget, drinking a lot of water in-between other beverages is a great way to make sure you’re not accidentally dehydrating yourself.
Water is also great for your skin and your digestion, helping you prevent overeating via the volumetrics approach. If you’re just bored with plain water, you can try unsweetened tea or vitamin-infused waters. But there’s one go-to staple that you can never go wrong with – water with cucumber slices and lemon slices!
#6 GO EASY ON THE LOUNGING
We know how inviting a poolside cabana can be, just like those lazy summer mornings you spend on your couch. But staying active during the summer will help you make sure that you’re eliminating excess calories from your diet, and you’re using the food you eat to fuel your activities.
The more you can go out in the summer, the better, as this can be restorative for both your body and your mind. So go take walks, run, ride bikes, take hikes, go swimming, or hit the gym as you usually do. There’s only one wrong answer here and it’s called staying inactive. As long as you’re moving, you’re doing an awesome job.