Summer is finally here and festivals, sports regattas, barbecues and outside events are rolling around every weekend. While some occasions are definitely ones to let your hair down (everyone should do so from time to time), doing so every weekend can start to hit our waistlines. Here are a few top tips for indulging without ruining your health and fitness goals or feeling like you’re missing out.
Make clever drinks swaps. If you are drinking, go for clear spirits or prosecco and pick slimline for your tonic. This will keep the calories down compared to wine, beer or cider. A double slimline G&T will put you back around 180 calories, compared to around 250 calories for a pint of cider.
Plan ahead. It’s always easy to check which food stalls are going to be appearing at festivals, and nobody minds if you drop them a message to see what’s cooking on the BBQ. Working out what you’re going to eat in advance means you’re less likely to overindulge. Check menus before you leave and pick the tastiest option that fits with your goals.
Build in some yummy treats. Keeping to a low-calorie diet doesn’t need to be boring. There are so many great snacks available these days that can help you to feel like you’re really indulging. Ice lollies are great in the summer and there are loads available under 100 calories; grab one of those while your family has an ice cream for example. Make sure you build in room for things you enjoy.
Take advantage of being outside. We’ve had a few weeks of really horrible rain, so whatever event you’re at, make the most of being out and about. See as many things as you can, and your steps will soon clock up. Daily movement is massively underestimated when it comes to losing or maintaining our weight, and summer is the easiest time to get active.
Be realistic. Not every BBQ we go to will have chicken sausages and low-calorie burgers, and occasionally at a festival you will want a pint or two. Don’t sweat it – do the best you can on the day but try and build in a contingency across the week. If you know your Saturday will be boozy then try to eat a little less or move a little more on Friday or Sunday to balance it out. Beating yourself up for a “fall off the wagon” often causes us to give up and keep overindulging, and setting realistic goals is a great strategy for avoiding this.