Tips from our Director of Nutrition, Amanda Karp:
When I was working with clients in past summers, we’d often discuss the difficulty of reconciling summer socializing and the desire for weight loss. Often people are traveling, dining out, and drinking more frequently. While the world may look a little different right now, you still deserve to feel and look your best, and I have a few tricks of the trade to help you get there.
Isn’t it ironic that the season when we’re the least clothed is the one that we find it the hardest to stick to our goals? We can flip that script! Here are my top tips on how look and feel your best when you’re the least dressed!
(1) PLAN AHEAD
You’ve heard us say it over and over, but I’ll say it again! Prior planning is KEY to success. When you plan, you feel prepared and in control. If you’re in charge of the menu, this is much easier to do, but even if you’re attending someone else’s soiree, you can still plan ahead! Likely you’re friendly enough with the host to be socializing with her in this day and age, so all you need to do is throw in a quick “what are you planning on making for dinner” during your next conversation. If it sounds like you won’t have many options to eat and honor your intentions, you can always make something to bring. This plan works double duty: you have a step 1 approved item you can munch on, and you look like the doting guest who never arrives empty-handed!
(2) PICK ONE INDULGENCE (AND STICK TO IT)
One of the biggest barriers to success when socializing or dining out is temptation. While there is absolutely a place for indulgence in the weight loss journey, and it’s incredibly important to prevent feelings of deprivation and even binging, too much indulgence can point you a bit too far in the other direction.
If you know you’re going to be barbecuing and your favorite dessert is on the menu, or you’re going to someone else’s house and have no control over what’s served, that’s A-OK! Either ahead of time or when you arrive, pick the one thing you value the most, whether it’s during the meal or dessert, and fill the rest of your plate with non-starchy veggies and your portion of protein. If you stick with the “pick one” mentality, you won’t feel deprived and you can still enjoy without guilt.
(3) TRY A STEP 1 REFRESH
Take a look at your calendar for the week or month. If you notice a few days that are particularly light, or you’ve got a heavy social calendar but you’re still feeling determined, maybe it’s a great time for a Step 1 Refresh. After all, Step 1 was designed to be approachable no matter your lifestyle!
For a Step 1 refresh, try to stick to only the basic sources of high fiber carbs for a week: 1 serving of fruit, GG crackers, and wheat bran, and F-Factor 20/20 products. Watch out for your protein portions (3-4 oz for women and 6-8 for men at meals) and load up on non-starchy veggies (duh). At the end of the week, you may find you want to continue for one more week, or you may feel like you’ve had the perfect reset, dropped a pound or two, and look like your best self again! For more information on a Step 1 Refresh, click here.
(4) DRINK SMART
Some may argue that summer drinking is even more difficult to navigate than summer eating. When the clock strikes noon, the rosé starts flowing and by two in the afternoon, your inhibition has blown away with the wind.
My tried and true tip is to drink a spritz (or a few!) with half a glass of club soda or sparkling water, half a glass of wine, lots of ice and a squeeze of lemon. It’s so refreshing, still a little hydrating, and has half the amount of alcohol so you can have two for the “price” of one. If you need some flavor, don’t forget you can always mix up drinks with flavored, low carb drinks like Wanu Water or flavored seltzers for a more flavorful drink. Remember to still try to stick to the equivalent of two glasses of wine or two drinks with a clear spirit.
(5) RE-EVALUATE YOUR GOALS WEEKLY
… and remember that they are NOT stagnant! Maybe you’re going on a trip and your usual routine is thrown off, or you’re out of your element, staying at someone else’s house for a few days. Be kind to yourself and remove the pressure that every day needs to be a “weight loss day.” One week, your goal might just be to maintain. That’s not just okay, it’s a healthy and positive mentality!
Weight loss and management is a marathon, not a sprint. Relieving yourself of the pressure to “always lose” will enable you to have a more positive relationship with the scale, with your food choices, and with your body. The next week, reevaluate again. If you’re back home or you have more control, you’ll reset your intention, get back into the “loss” mentality, and watch the scale move!