Staying on track during the winter months can be tough. Between holiday parties, family dinners, and well-meaning neighbors bringing as many treats as you can fit on your countertop, you’re probably VERY glad when January rolls around and you can get back into a groove with your training and nutrition.
But what happens when the summer months hit?
Summertime can be just as hard, if not harder, to stay on track with your goals! You’ve got BBQs, vacations, being out of school, or having kids who are out of school, refreshing summer drinks, and SO. MUCH. MORE. Another added layer of stress? You want to enjoy yourself but you may also feel added pressure to look a certain way while you’re rocking your summer shorts, tanks, swimsuits, or sundresses.
In order to relieve some stress, we’re sharing our top tips to stay on track while having fun in the summer sun!
Ask any of our coaches what the best way to stay on track with your nutrition goals is and you’ll likely get the answer to plan your day ahead of time!
There are many different strategies that you can use.
- Heading to a family BBQ where you know that you will have a million different dishes staring you in the face? Try having a lighter breakfast and lunch with higher protein, so that you have a lot of calories to work with for dinner. This can give you some wiggle room to eat what you want in the moment! *Pro-tip: You likely won’t know the exact macronutrient breakdown for foods at a potluck but do your best to guesstimate and use your best judgment.
- Save extra calories for the weekend! Because we are most concerned about your weekly average, rather than you hitting everything 100% “on-point” every day, you can actually spread your calories out throughout the week. Here’s an example:If you have a 1700 calorie avg, but you want to eat out 2x, plan for 2 higher calorie days and 5 lower calorie days while still hitting your weekly calorie goal.
1,700 * 7 days = 11,900 total calories to spend for the week
2000*2 (two higher calorie days) = 4,000
11,900 – 4,000 = 7,900 (amount left to divide 5 lower calorie days)
7,900 / 5 days = 1580 on your lower calorie days
So for this particular week, you would aim for 1580 calories 5 days of the week and 2000 calories 2 days of the week.
- Ask what you’ll be eating ahead of time. It makes things a little easier when you know what to expect. If you’re headed on a campout and know that you’ll be having burgers and hotdogs, then you can structure the rest of your day around getting your protein in. You can also pre-log anything you know you’ll want to have!
- Consider your goals. Remember that it takes 3500 surplus calories to gain a pound! You’d have to eat 500 extra calories for 7 days straight to gain 1 pound. Any other fluctuations are related to your body holding water. You may either be holding from not getting your normal water, eating more sodium, getting less sleep, being in the sun/heat, drinking alcohol, etc. When you have these types of days try not to stress too much. Some weeks, it’s even worth 7 days of 500 cal surplus to have some fun! Especially when you’re empowered with the knowledge of how to lose that pound.
PACK MACRO FRIENDLY SNACKS
Heading to the pool? Pack some macro friendly snacks alongside your towel and sunscreen! Some of our favorites are protein bars, beef jerky, and ready-to-drink protein shakes. They’ll tide you over if you’re feeling hungry and can help you to hit your daily protein goals!
BRING YOUR FAVORITE MACRO FRIENDLY DISHES TO SHARE
Everyone loves a friend who brings a side dish to share! It’s easy to track dishes that you have prepared yourself.
Here are some of our favorite shareable recipes & sides:
- Pulled BBQ Chicken Potato Skins
- Buffalo Chicken Sliders
- Chili Cheese Fries
- Honey BBQ Slow Cooker Chicken Wings
- Buffalo Dip
- Veggie Tray
DON’T STRESS THE LITTLE THINGS
The more you stress about being overly perfect, the harder it’s going to be to stay on track. Consider the following question when deciding how dialed in you need to be with your nutrition.
Do you have a big & specific body composition goal coming up in 10 weeks or less away?
- If yes, it may be necessary to track your nutrition in an app like MyFitnessPal and to be mindful of the food you’re eating at each meal. That doesn’t mean you can’t indulge in some treats, but they will need to be accounted for and you may have to have some boring meals like a protein shake or salad with chicken to fit it in.
- If no but you are working on a specific body composition goal on a timeline 10+ weeks away, you may consider bumping your calories up to your maintenance intake or slightly above by 200-300 calories per day and keep up with your tracking to ensure you don’t get too far from your baseline.
- If no, a few days or even ten days off of tracking your food in an app (while taking the general tips below into consideration) won’t impact your BIG picture progress. You might feel a little bloated when you get home, but a week or two back in your routine will make all the difference!
PACE YOUR ALCOHOL (AND MAKE SURE TO TRACK IT TOO!)
If you are going to be consuming alcohol, make sure that you are pacing yourself. Stay well-hydrated throughout the day (this is especially important when you are out in the summer sun) and pay attention to how many drinks you have had!
Track alcohol by “creating a food” in MFP call it “Alcohol” make it 100 calories and 25g of carbs. Then whenever you drink, figure out how many CALORIES of alcohol you consumed and then enter it in that way.
For example, if you have two light beers (125 cals each) log 2.5 servings of “alcohol.”
FYI: Alcohol is its own macro that has 7 calories per gram but isn’t listed in MFP so if you drink and don’t track this way, your REAL calorie and macro intake will be inaccurate.
Summer is a perfect time to get outside and enjoy a hike, a game of beach volleyball, or even an outdoor workout. We recommend getting at least 7k steps per day [[Check out our blog post on how your step count impacts your fat loss HERE]] and with nice weather, there’s no excuse to not get outside!
As always, the magic is typically somewhere in the middle and it’s always worth zooming out to look at things from a big picture perspective versus giving SO MUCH stress and power to one event or weekend!