A few months ago, a barre girl reached out to me to ask for some advice. She had been doing her BA workouts and eating healthy but hit a plateau and stopped seeing progress. She was looking for some lifestyle shifts the would help her break through this plateau before summer (hello bathing suit season). I shared some “tricks” and “hacks” I have for staying on course during the summer. She started making these changes and immediately began to see progress again. The best part is that these are all small doable changes that will make a huge difference when done long term!
So here are my six tips for the summer season!
1. Bring back up!
Everywhere I go, I have snacks on hand. Traveling with healthy snacks gives you options. Sometimes when you’re on the road or on vacation the options are unhealthy and unappealing. This is where my backup snacks come into play. I keep healthy snacks like this beef jerky on hand for these moments. It’s also a must for any road trips or vacations to places like Disney. Having these snacks mean you always have a healthy option. It saves money! Snacks at gas stations and at resorts are always marked up so this is a win win!
My favorites: Krave beef jerky, Justin’s nut butter packets and pistachios.
Watch out for: carb and sugar heavy bars that can spike your sugar and then leave you lethargic (a mother’s worst nightmare).
2. Quick not Fast (food)
Those of you who have known me for a while know I swear by intermittent fasting. Fasting gives your digestive system a rest. Instead of digesting your breakfast, your body has time to burn off the food you ate the day before and eventually your fat stores. Here is an article if you want to learn more about IF and why it’s beneficial. I fast from about 6:30 PM - 9:30 AM and focus on hydrating during the morning. I break my fast around 9:30 AM with a shake. Don’t worry, you can still have coffee in the morning - just keep your total calories under 100. So avoid any high calories creamers. Check out my IF highlights on my Instagram for my shake recipe, the brand of cold brew I love and other IF tips and tricks. The mom I spoke about above lost 8lbs in a month once she started fasting. If you’re breastfeeding you should wait until you have a well established supply before fasting.
3. Make the most of a breakfast buffet.
Summer time is often vacation time. And a lot of the hotels offer a breakfast buffet or a continental breakfast. Let’s be honest, it’s usually mediocre food and heavy on processed starches (cue the carb coma). When I’m staying at a hotel I’ll look for the fresh whole fruit - things like an apple or banana. Instead of eating it right then, I’ll keep fasting and bring it wherever we’re going for the day. Now with the apple from the breakfast buffet and my packed Justin’s nut butter, I’ve made a great mini meal to break my fast if I’m not at home to make a shake.
4. Keep it green
When I’m traveling and on vacation with my family I always try to have one of my meals be a salad. Especially when I’m on a trip with my boys, I need my energy to keep up with them. Some healthy greens with a lean protein keeps me moving (in more ways than one if you hear me). I also don’t eat dairy (you can read about that here) so I’ll always nix the cheese. Full disclosure: but be careful with salads that have breaded toppings and lots of cheese, if it’s too heavy your energy will drag.
5. Swap it out.
Try to make some quick swaps or changes to meals that will make a big difference in the long run. For example, I’ll order a burger and take the bun off. I’ll order a salad instead of fries on the side. I’ll ask them to double my veggies instead of getting rice at dinner (don’t forget to ask them to hold the butter and oil off the veggies) I’ll get sauce or dressing on the side and add half of what they give me. Just ask yourself - what could I do to make this meal a little bit healthier. This way you don’t have to stress about eating out or missing meal time with your family. Over time, those small choices add up.
6. Break it up.
Most of my tips are about eating but if you want to keep your workouts up as well but just don’t have the time on your vacation or since the kids are out of school- I suggest to break it up. Take one workout and break it up into smaller segments that work with your schedule. So if you’re on vacation for 7 days, commit to doing one muscle group each morning. Starting your day this way will make you feel accomplished and will make the good food choices easier and you’ll help to maintain your toned muscles over your vacation.
7. Enjoy the good times
All these tips are helpful but don’t forget that we work hard so we CAN enjoy the good times! Don’t make yourself feel guilty about indulging in an ice cream cone during your family vacation to the beach. And don’t stress about having a chocolate covered banana at Disney World, it IS the happiest place on earth after all. When you are consistent year round you have room to enjoy those special times with your family!