It's almost summer!
Victoria Day weekend signals the start of outdoor play time, vodka coolers and lemony beers plus snacks on the deck. Before we start, I want you to try on your shorts from last year (the ones with a waistband!) I can wait.
Whether they fit or not, this summer will not be THAT summer. (The one that you look back on as the one that had you gaining all that weight that you never could lose). You don't have to give everything up but you do have to do these six things that will keep you fit (and your new shorts fitting).
1. Split your fit. Get outside for a 20 minute walk every single morning. Whether you go to the gym or not, play beach volleyball or not, that added 20 minute change will set up your metabolism to burn. Take a medicine ball with you and toss it up, bend it back, hold it over to each side -- whatever it takes to get your core off-balance. This will double the "after-burn" effect of whatever you do at the end of the day as your real exercise.
2. Choose snacks wisely! I have been recommending Popchips since they came to Canada. They serve up a low cal, low fat, no crap crunch. The latest flavours include a veggie chip including kale, beet and other powders along with pea flour, this variety offers three grams of protein (from the same source as many of the better protein powders ) and three grams of fibre in a 23 chip serving that only cost you 120 calories. My other favourite flavour actually gets two stars at Guiding Stars, which is pretty impressive for a chip.
3. Choose any dip or spread very carefully. Nothing mayonnaise, sour cream or cream cheese based like Ranch or "veggie dip" should grace your plate. Instead, pick a veggie dense hummus flavour that you like and mix it 50:50 plain, low fat Greek Yogurt and grate some cucumber into it. Higher protein, more nutrients and water bulked will reduce calories per mouthful.
4. Never eat from the bag or dip in a communal bowl. First of all, it is so grossly filled with bacteria but mostly, the large portion available has been shown to encourage over eating. Take a plate, eyeball your Popchips count and scoop one tablespoon of dip onto your plate. Fill it with any veggies available and finish it slowly. You can go back in, but you will need to be aware that you are doing so.
5. The best beverage: I am personally in love with the whole new line of options in flavoured soda water. Nestle's is widely available. Use this with a shot of vodka and a squeeze of citrus plus a sprig of mint to impress any guest and keep the calories and glycemic index low. Of course, I am obligated to mention that one or two should be your limit.
6. Set a stop eating ritual and time. For me, it is a glass of milk and two cookies at 8:30 p.m. But for you it can be whatever sends the signal that you are done for the day. Let your body rest without having to process calories and help your mind know when to stop.
You can get through this summer in that same pair of shorts. Take a selfie today and post it on your desktop. Make sure you are smooth and tanned in that exact same outfit come Labour Day.
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