While it’s common to believe that putting on a few extra pounds usually only happens in the winter, it’s also normal for it to happen during summer. Here are five common causes of summer weight gain that may surprise you.
Though the warmer months are when we tend to be more active, there are also many more opportunities for unhealthy intakes. From BBQ hot dogs to lots of ice cream, suddenly an average summer weekend can turn into consuming hundreds of unneeded extra calories. With a few healthier alternatives, you can easily get back on track and still enjoy the warm weather with tasty treats!
Though cold umbrella cocktails are super tempting during this time of year, you definitely don’t want to be sipping on them every day. An average Piña Colada or Long Island Iced Tea can range from 600 to 800 calories.
Try this instead: Rather than going crazy on cocktails, opt for high protein appetizers. A plate of calamari or shrimp cocktail is just as much of a treat, minus the extra sugar. If you can’t shake the mood for a mixed drink, gin or vodka with fresh lime or soda are the best low-calorie options. Asking for a short glass with lots of ice is another way to cool off without having too much alcohol.
As surprising as it may sound, fruit isn’t always a “healthy” option. Even though it seems like a good choice, canned fruit topped with whipped cream and garnishes are high in sugar. These items are common for summer picnics or BBQs.
Try this instead: Always choose fresh fruit over canned fruit and try to substitute whipped cream with plain yogurt. When it comes to types of fruit, berries, watermelon, grapefruit and kiwi are your best options.
As delicious as a juicy burger sounds, a regular beef burger topped with cheese contains high levels of sodium, calories and saturated fat. Though it’s a great pool-side or BBQ meal, there are a few adjustments you can make to enjoy your burger guilt-free!
Try this instead: Grass-fed beef is a great alternative to regular beef burgers, ground turkey, chicken or our ground bison from our local Thunder Ridge Bison Co.
Adding cheese doesn’t have to be an unhealthy option, especially if you opt for swiss cheese which I’ve recently discovered has been proven to be anti-inflammatory. The enzymes that add holes to the cheese also is good for our digestion! If you’re in the mood to cut the bun, wrap your burger in lettuce rather than bread. You’d be surprised how good a lettuce-wrapped burger can taste, especially with a little bit of cajun mayo!
Though frozen yogurt had a claim to fame for being a healthier alternative to ice cream, it has tons of added sugar, especially when you pack on the toppings. While frozen yogurt contains some protein, it’s usually over 400 calories per cup and can contain as much as 26 grams of fat plus tons of sugar.
Try this instead: Greek yogurt, Skyr or coconut yogurt (plain versions of each) is a better alternative that have less added sugar and less grams of fat while also having more protein. Rather than opting for frozen yogurt with sugary toppings, pair it with fresh fruit and/or a drizzle of maple syrup or honey.
It’s easy to lose track of how many chips you’ve eaten. One minute you’re opening the bag and the next minute, it’s finished. Fat and calories from chips can add up quickly, especially when you’re using a creamy dip. One ounce of potato chips contains about 150 calories. Mindlessly eating three times this amount is a no brainer when you’re watching a movie or hanging out with friends. I made the mistake of this with beet chips while surfing the net the other day. Those beet chips weren’t such a healthier alternative after I’d polished off half the bag!
Try this instead: Lentil or quinoa chips are a tasty alternative to regular potato chips because they’re high in protein and have much less salt. Portion them out though before hand and enjoy every bite, guilt free!
Potato, pasta, Caesar…what do they usually all have in common? Lots of fat. Even healthier noodle choices like quinoa, lentil and whole wheat noodles can be weighed down by lots of mayo and sour cream.
Try this instead: Sub out half the mayo with Greek or Skyr yogurt. Not only will you be trading out lots of fat, you’ll also be gaining lots of protein!
Plan to get out on your bikes, swim in the pool or lake, hike the trails and keep moving. Remember to bring along your water, your sunscreen and bug repellent. Make your own version of the latter by adding drops of naturally repellent oils essential oils like citronella, lemongrass, tea tree oil, lavender and rosemary to witch hazel. Your skin will appreciate these oils while the mosquitoes and other insects will not! This is good for up to 30 min’s so reapply often when outdoors.
We need to lift weights to keep our muscles strong, metabolism revved (thereby burning more calories in a day) and to support our joints. It’s not rocket science, train 2-5x’s week even for a few minutes. Book your complimentary consult with an NRG Trainer TODAY and learn to lift properly with a program designed around your unique needs and goals.
While most people know that physical activity is healthy, it’s estimated that about 30% of people worldwide don’t get enough.
Unless you have a physically demanding job, a dedicated fitness routine is likely your best bet for getting active.
Unfortunately, many people feel that they don’t have enough time to exercise. Everyone has 30 min’s in a day so if you’ve heard yourself say this, it’s time to try high-intensity interval training (HIIT).
HIIT is a broad term for workouts that involve short periods of intense exercise alternated with recovery periods.
One of the biggest advantages of HIIT is that you can get maximal health benefits in minimal time. HIIT involves short bursts of intense exercise alternated with low-intensity recovery periods. Interestingly, it is perhaps the most time-efficient way to exercise.
Typically, a HIIT workout will range from 10 to 30 minutes in duration. Despite how short the workout is, it can produce health benefits similar to twice as much moderate-intensity exercise. Even when I run, I include some short sprints of 20-30 seconds followed by recovery of 10-15 seconds.
The actual activity being performed varies but can include sprinting, biking, jump rope or other body weight exercises.
For example, a HIIT workout using a stationary exercise bike could consist of 30 seconds of cycling as fast as possible against high resistance, followed by several minutes of slow, easy cycling with low resistance.
This would be considered one “round” or “repetition” of HIIT, and you would typically complete 4 to 8 repetitions in one workout.
Regardless of how it is implemented, high-intensity intervals should involve short periods of vigorous exercise that make your heart rate speed up.
Not only does HIIT provide the benefits of longer-duration exercise in a much shorter amount of time — it may also provide some unique health benefits like burning calories quickly. Science is showing that HIIT can burn 25–30% more calories than the other forms of exercise. This is because HIIT allows you to burn about the same amount of calories, but spend less time exercising. Woo hoo!
HIIT training is also scientifically proven to continue burning calories for hours after the actual exercise due to a cool term called EPOC which relates to the post-exercise oxygen consumption. Again, book an appointment HERE with one of our friendly, knowledgeable and judgement free NRG trainers to learn more about HIIT training.
So let’s make it an even better summer by keeping active and switching out some common warm weather food pit falls. You’ll have more energy, feel more empowered and better heading into the next seasons but hey, let’s not rush the latter!