It’s summer time! Which means time for (social distancing) pool parties, BBQ’s, late nights with friends, family reunions, picnics, hiking, road trips, lake time, beach time, vacationing and so much more!! Summertime is one of my favorite times of the year, but unfortunately it’s also a time where there is often a lot of tempting food around. My guess is that you don’t want to sabotage your efforts or regress in your goals and progress this summer. How do you do that? Since doing THM for over 7 years now, I’ve come up with some tips and tricks that have helped me stay on track with my health goals, without depriving myself of yummy foods, that I would like to share. Let me suggest 5 tips to keep you from cheating this summer 😉

Stop and think

Before you take a bite of that off plan dessert or snack, take a minute to stop and think. Think ahead to after you eat that off plan food. Are you eating it because it is right in front of you or because there is social pressure to do so, or are you eating it because you genuinely want it? Will it cause the scale to go up? Will the sugar end up giving you a headache? Will you have an energy crash after you get a quick energy spike? In short, will that momentary pleasure be worth it in the long run? The choice is yours, but the consequence of that choice is not. Hint: Most of the time, the cheat IS NOT WORTH IT! Focus on socializing and the event itself, not on the food.

Brush Your Teeth

After dinner, brush your teeth. I advise my clients to have a cut off time for eating in the evening. Often late night snacking sabotages your efforts. If you eat great throughout the day, but each night after the kids are in bed you blow it with late night snacking, then you will get no where. I used to be a late night snacker until I started having a cut off time for eating. My mom used to say “The kitchen is closed” after dinner and now I use that with my family and with myself. Eating at night used to be a way to decompress from the day, but I’ve replaced that habit with healthier habits like taking a walk, going for a family bike ride, reading a good book, etc. Occasionally I still snack at night, I’m only human, but for the most part I don’t. When I do, I go for a light FP snack. My hubby came up with a trick that works great. He brushes his teeth right after dinner and it signals to his brain that he’s done eating for the day. Try and see if it helps!

Have on plan treats on hand

Have on plan treats on hand that you can look forward to and enjoy! If you have an on plan dessert to look forward to, you can treat yourself to healthy treats rather than feeling like everyone else gets to enjoy their food and you have to sit back and watch. Focus on what you can have and not on what you can’t. As THMers we have so many yummy dessert recipes that are available to us! There are many desserts that you can make quickly & that travel well. I had an “aha” moment when I was shopping at Costco. There was a sample of cheesecake, one of my absolute favorite desserts, and I thought “It’s just a bite, what harm will it do?” However, I had committed to myself that I was going to stay on plan 100% no matter what. Then I remembered that I had made a THM cheesecake and I could have a slice when I got home. It was a no brainer! I was going to give up that bite of cheesecake at Costco which would have surely led to justifying eating other off plan samples for my on plan cheesecake. When I got home, and put the groceries away, I sat down and enjoyed my on plan cheesecake. I enjoyed that cheesecake so much more than I would have enjoyed the off plan Costco cheesecake.  I delayed instant gratification of that Costco sample for a dessert that was helping me stick to my goals. There’s nothing sweeter than that. Obviously it doesn’t have to be an exact swap each time- you don’t have to make sure to have on plan cake when you know an event is going to have cake, but make sure you have an on plan treat that will satisfy you. One of my favorites is ice cream in the summer! If you already haven’t, invest in an ice cream maker, and make some on plan ice cream! It’s so worth it!! You can find my mint chip & vanilla ice cream recipe here: Mint & Classic Vanilla Ice Cream 

Prepare ahead of time

If you’re going to a BBQ, bring along a THM side and just plan to eat the burger or hot dog bunless. If you’re going to an event that you know won’t have anything you can eat, then eat beforehand. Keep snacks in your purse or your car for emergencies. If you’re going on a trip, don’t use vacation as an excuse to go completely off plan. Prep some on plan snacks you can take with you and have a game plan! Where are you going to eat? Are you planning on buying groceries while you’re there? I have a vacation snack and grocery list that I’d be happy to share ;)If you want to cheat, then plan for 1 cheat meal or 1 dessert & make sure you move more to counteract that cheat. My hubby and I went to Puerto Rico for our anniversary 5 years ago, and on the way to our hotel, we stopped at Walmart to get some groceries to keep in our hotel room. The fridge wasn’t working so we got a cooler and stocked it with ice each day. If you want to reach your goals badly enough, you can make it work.

Communicate with those around you

Don’t be afraid to let people know what you’re doing. If you are open with those around you about your health goals and your eating plan, then more often than not, they will be supportive of you. It’s a lot easier to stick to your plan when you’ve made it known that you have committed to your health and others are watching you. Some may give you a hard time, but it’s usually because they are insecure about not being proactive with their health. This is your journey, don’t let anyone make you feel insecure about it. You know that this plan gives you “food freedom” and you have the knowledge to help others experience this too if they’re willing. It’s even more fun when others join you! If you haven’t experienced food freedom yet, stick with it, you will get there and you will love it!! It is so worth it!!

Hopefully this gave you some tips and tricks to help you stay on plan this summer. What other tips and tricks do you have to keep you on plan?

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