When dieting, we tend to shift our focus away from health and onto weight, calories and fat content instead.
This is a reminder that nothing make your body any more ready for summer than it is right now. Yes, RIGHT now.
We’ve got some tips for you… Not to lose weight or change your appearance, but to help you feel excited to have some fun in the sun.
How to keep a Healthy Summer Body
Ones that you like and make you feel good. The common misconception around summer is that we need to go to extremes – cut out carbs, excessively exercise and feel bad about ourselves until we look like women on the front of magazines.
Here are a few quick de-bunks of ‘summer body’ diets/detoxes:
- There is no evidence or reason reason to cut out gluten from your diet (when you do not have Celiac’s Disease or similar). Gluten-free foods often wear a ‘health halo’ due to marketing, not because of research based on health.
- There is no evidence that completely cutting out sugar from diet is beneficial. In fact, depriving yourself of sugar makes you crave it more.
- The act of going on a diet often leads to lower self-esteem, feelings of failure, weight gain and yo-yo dieting.
- Diets can put us in a worse state of health physically and mentally than we would have been by eating foods we enjoyed without guilt or deprivation.
Here are some examples of foods that might feel good through summer (aka all foods):
- Yogurt and fruit with granola
- A fun cocktail with a friend
- A cafe chain salad that was overpriced but you claim it tastes much better than your homemade version
- Chocolate lava cake because who doesn’t love chocolate lava cake
- A snack that you brought with you because you knew you’d get hungry in your meeting
- Dinner at a new restaurant
- A homemade convenient lunch
- Other foods and drinks that feel good and satisfy you
Move your body in a way that you like
Just like with food, it is essential to find a way to move your body that feels best to you. Some days will be different than others, more intense, more restorative, longer or shorter amounts of time, or not at all. At some point, many of us find ourselves in a battle with the gym, whether it’s because we aren’t doing something we like or because we’re forcing ourselves to maintain a certain calorie goal.
Exercise benefits extend beyond weight. Reduced stress, increased energy, increased self-esteem, reduced health risks and boosted mood are all reasons that movement is good for us.
Here are some tips for finding the movement that works best for you:
- Try different classes, gyms, free workout groups to see what feels good to you.
- You don’t need any kind of a membership to be physically active. Walking is always found to be one of the best ways to get moving, it’s a great time to listen to podcasts, catch up with friends and just get some fresh air.
- It’s easy to get used to the same routine and feel monotonous, by stepping out of it you might realise you enjoy something else too!
Throw Away the Scale
We are brought up believing myths about scales: that they depict our worth, that they are an accurate measure of health, that we can control our weight. The truth? There is a substantial amount of evidence that none of those things are true.
Buy Summer Clothes you Love
Regardless of your size, wearing what you feel confident in makes you look your best. A lot of us have ideals about ‘fitting into X size’ but you are the only person who ever knows what your dress size is, nearly every brand has different sizing, and if you feel good in it, who really cares what that number is?
Choosing to wear clothes to honor your body as it is now, not how it might be in 6 months, can be tough for some people. But it is a decision that helps lift the pressure and guilt that diet culture puts us to look a certain way. By getting a few new things that make you feel great, you’ll feel better heading into the summer.
Ask Yourself ‘Why not?’
Ask yourself ‘why not?’ to all of the things you feel like you can’t do this summer without first changing.
Question why you feel like you can’t enjoy experiences without changing first. The next time you feel those negative thoughts about your body or your friend tells you about their diet for summer, remember that you don’t need to change anything about yourself, your body or your way of eating to be ready for summer.
So… How should you prep for summer?
Take a few deep breaths. Wear an outfit you love. Eat food you enjoy. Move in a way that feels good and save your brain space for more important and fun summer things.
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