by Jen Kavanagh
Fall is in full swing. The kids have long since returned to school. And when you go to put on your jeans for the first time in many months— they are too tight. The time has come to get back to a healthy lifestyle, lose the leftover summer weight that trickled into fall, and feel amazing and look fabulous in those skinny jeans. Doing it now while it’s still temperate means you can glide into the holiday season ahead looking and feeling your best. So how do you begin to get back into healthy habits? Here’s a short list of what you can do right now to get back on track.
- Create a routine, including healthy habits, that you can schedule in your calendar daily. Things like cooking, grocery shopping, exercising, and self care.
- Get back to the gym or whatever your favorite form of exercise is. Many people completely neglect exercise during busy times and summer vacations. Exercise is critical to overall mental health and physical health. Put this time in your calendar and make it non-negotiable so you never miss it.
- Cook at home and limit takeout or restaurants to once a week. When you eat out, it’s easy to get carried away, consuming extra calories, bread, appetizers, dessert, and wine or cocktails. Also, most restaurant food is calorie-dense, and loaded with extra oils, cream, sugar and sauces that can add 300-500 extra calories to your meal. Cooking at home gives you control over the calories and the quality of ingredients.
- Create rules for yourself around food and drinks that you may have indulged in too much this summer, things that you enjoy and don’t want to cut out but maybe should reduce. Identify your rule, then write it down in the first person, and post it in your journal, your personal organizer, or your kitchen. For example: I will have only one glass of wine at dinner instead of two. Or, I will drink alcohol two times a week instead of 5-6. Or, I will eat out once a week but I will choose one indulgence (bread, wine, dessert, an appetizer) and not all of them.
- Most importantly, get a plan and stick to it. You must plan your exercise; plan when and what you are going to cook each week; plan your grocery shopping around your meal prep; and plan for busy times and special occasions so you are never stuck, overwhelmingly hungry, and tempted to visit the drive-through.
Now is the time to get down to business. Before you know it, the holidays will be here and that’s another time filled with temptation and the usual challenges to weight loss. So why not get on the healthy bandwagon now, and carry those habits forward into the holiday season and 2023?