Labor Day marks the end of summer (unofficially) and that means the kids are back in school and vacations are over. With things calming down, you may be reflecting on your summer thinking "where has the time gone?". If you are anything like the other million Americans, summer has probably derailed your weight loss goals. With long days, late nights, and multiple vacations, it can be hard to make the most healthy life choices.
Who found themselves eating lots of that "really good food" you know you shouldn't have eaten but did anyways because #vacation #amiright?
I can tell you, you are not alone. It is easy to have your vacation mindset last a few weeks before, and after that vacation. And once you get off track, it can be extra hard to get back on.
We often have patients that need help getting back on track after weight loss surgery and here are the tips I give them to help them regain their health. You can use these tips to help you get back on track now that summer is (almost) over.
1. Get rid of all the junk food in the house
When the kids are home, you may have stocked up on their favorite sugary snacks. And that means you were probably digging your hand in that box of cereal too. Now that the kids are back to school, you don' t have any excuses. Throw it out! Leaving it in your pantry will only lead to temptation.
2. Start meal prepping
Now that you have thrown out the junk and, hopefully, headed to the grocery store to purchase all those nutrient dense foods, I recommend that you start meal prepping. Planning your meals will limit your snacking and grazing and ultimately help you to consume fewer calories.
3. Limit your carb intake
We can't preach it enough, but if you want to lose weight, you have to limit your carbohydrate intake. Yes, the body needs a certain amount of carbohydrates to fuel itself. However, if you are not burning more than you consume, you will gain weight. So stay away from high carb foods such as fruit, starchy vegetables, and grains (including pasta and bread). Your body will receive enough carbs from the other foods in your diet to functional properly and still help you lose weight.
4. Track your food intake
I feel like I talk about this all the time but when you feel like you have gotten off track and want to start losing weight again, I highly suggest tracking your food intake. By tracking everything that you are putting in your body, you will be able to see how many calories and carbs you are actually consuming.
There are many free exercise and calorie trackers out there, but one of my favorites is MyFitnessPal.
5. Create a workout plan
It has been proven that when you engage in regular physical activity, you are unlikely to also engage in regular binge eating behaviors. Similarly, when you do slip up and eat unhealthy foods, so long as it is not in excess, the calories you burn from exercise should counteract the calories consumed—limiting weight gain.
So try to incorporate regular physical activity into your daily routine, even if it is something as small as taking a 30 minute walk during lunch break.