Summer’s here! Freedom is in the air and we’re prepping our bikinis, toning up our abs, and getting our fave summer beauty products, beach books, fitness plans, and light recipes to fill the season.
We’ve usually got good intentions, but there are actually some very common summer choices that aren’t great for our health and weight loss. Here they are – and more importantly – their solutions!
This title must surely surprise you, coming from me, who is always on the go ;)!
But it’s true, and one that can actually cause serious problems. Here’s why: you get to your holiday destination, and the office girl who did 3 HIIT sessions a week at the gym (and hopefully some of my exercises throughout the year ;), suddenly throws herself into 30km hikes (with brand new sneakers, mind you); bodybuilding classes at the gym twice a day (especially since they’re free at the hotel); horse-riding every day…and the list goes on! The result? Painful blisters, strained muscles which are being worked too hard, joint pain, etc. And your holiday is transformed into 3 days of intense exercise followed by 5 days out of commission.
Solution: Get yourself into a more active rhythm before vacation hits! Practice sports that are similar to what you plan to do when you go away. So, for example, if you are planning a 3-week hike this summer, go for some hiking on the weekends before you leave. If you’re going for 3 weeks of sailing, start working out your arms, back, and shoulders. If you are planning to climb, know that gym workouts are good, but that nothing compares to testing it out in nature! In short, the goal is to plan ahead and build your body’s strength to support you all summer long.
It’s hard to navigate the wealth of articles which differ in their claims that 3 liters of water a day (about 12 cups) is the minimum, or that 3 liters is actually hitting a dangerous extreme.
The truth is somewhere between the two (as is often the case!): if you go to a warm place and you are very active, 3 liters of water may not suffice. If you are going to a cool place where you don’t move a lot (like a meditative retreat), less than 3 liters could be more than enough for you.
Solution: If you’re on LeBootCamp, you already drink your Sobacha every morning followed by the juice of half a lemon in a large glass of water. On top of that, get into the habit of drinking before you are thirsty (thirst is a sign that you are already dehydrated), but not very large quantities in one shot because your body can not metabolize a liter of water, all of a sudden – not even half a liter. When in doubt, the color of your urine will give you the answer: dark = not drinking enough water, clear = drinking enough water.
Note: We are talking about pure water here, not sweetened drinks which negatively impact our weight loss and energy levels.
Yes, you read me right: dramatically increasing your fiber intake can hurt! This one is very common for our abovementioned “office girl” who arrives from a busy 9-to-5-life to her exotic beach vacation – but honestly not one that any BootCamper will experience ;). Here’s what happens:
Summer hits, and your days are suddenly filled with more fruit and veggies than ever before: you go from a morning fruit salad to a fresh salad for lunch (usually extra large – “I’m filling up on healthy stuff and it’s all-inclusive!”), to soups for dinner – not to mention exotic fruits in large quantities. The digestive system is simply traumatized from so much fiber, all at once. We typically assume that a sore stomach or constipation is caused by bacteria or something we ate that wasn’t fresh, but it may simply be a matter of your body not having time to adapt to your new way of eating (especially if you have a sensitive digestive system).
Solution: Follow a high-fiber diet at least 3 weeks before going on vacation, and build up slowly. The Detox and Booster phases of my LeBootCamp program are ideal to get into a healthy rhythm. This is why BootCampers very rarely struggle with this problem 🙂!
You’ve arrived. The resort is super beautiful and everything is included! Yay! No need to take out your credit card for anything.
There’s food absolutely everywhere: by the pool, near the tennis courts, at restaurants on the beach, and more. Resort buffets are overflowing with good things, mini desserts of all kinds, croissants, cakes…how can you not cave! And we often think that since we’re moving so much during the day, we can indulge. The problem is that 95% of the time, we estimate our caloric expense well above what we really burned! The result? We leave our holiday heavier than we started, with an average of 5 to 10 excess pounds. True, our summer tan helps camouflage the extra little bit, but since there are techniques to avoid this, let’s be proactive!
Solution: Establish clear rules. We don’t nibble between meals. We don’t get snacks while we’re lounging lazily for hours at the pool. If we are not hungry, we do not eat. If there’s a buffet, we only go once. We don’t take seconds on all our favorite things – we typically do this “in case there might not be any left” (survival reflex), but honestly, at an all-inclusive resort, you will always have what you need and more!
Argh! Appetizers truly turn out to be the saboteurs of beautiful, sexy bodies! We down a whole bowl of chips (even if they’re organic and made from exotic root veggies deep in the Amazon rainforest, that’s still a lot of calories!), a few of these, a few of those – everything is so tiny! – and those little cheese bites are so small that we swallow a good twenty before realizing it! We eat by habit, mindlessly, because these tiny appetizers are simply right in front of us and so easy to pop into our mouths.
If anyone is primarily responsible for those extra summer pounds, it is The Appetizer. And that’s because it affects everyone: whether you vacation at home or go away, whether you’re a couch potato, or super active.
Solution: If you’re the one hosting a summer party, simply change the way you prepare appetizers to make them more weight-loss friendly. (Visit your LeBootCamp member space for a wealth of fun appetizer recipes which are both gourmet and good for your waistline.) And if you’re the guest (whether at a friend or at a holiday resort), reach for fresh veggies and other bites that are low in calories and fill you up at the same time. This puts you into the mode of choosing mindfully which is exactly the what we need to handle appetizers! And one more tip, my fave: eat a hard-boiled egg before you head out to a buffet – it will help reduce your appetite by more than 25%!
Of course, there are other health-related summer mistakes, but this is a good start! Don’t hesitate to share your suggestions and questions in the comments below so that I can tackle what’s on your mind in my next article!
Remember that my approach is 80/20! 80% perfection and 20% delicious imperfection! So if you hit a craving and want to indulge, go for it – so long as you do so MINDFULLY and GUILT-FREE.
Here’s to a great summer!
Your LeBootCamp Coach