Six months ago, we all began doing what we do every year - preparing ourselves for summer swimsuits. We ran, lifted weights and watched what we ate in anticipation of the first pool party or trip to the beach. We had a goal!

Now that summer is here, though, you may be seeing your efforts fall off a bit. The extra handful of chips and the second and third margaritas are piling on the extra calories. Your summer treats are surpassing the progress you saw from the first semester regimen, and you’re starting to look like you just got up from Thanksgiving dinner. What can you do to stop the backslide?

To begin with, keep plenty of water on hand. By drinking water every time a craving arises, you can eliminate the unnecessary eating. Many times, thirst is disguised as hunger.

Snack on an apple or orange by the pool or water. The sun is probably dehydrating you, making you hungry and thirsty. The fruit will not only provide your body with water and good sugar, it will also occupy you by taking longer to consume.

Keep away from sweets and soft drinks. Don’t even take them outside with you. Substitute with fruit and flavored water if you need. And, limit or avoid alcohol. As usual, it will lower inhibition and have you digging in the Chips Ahoy before you know it.

Certainly, make time to continue cardio and lifting. The best way to stay fit and make the above choices easier is to live your fitness every day! I tell my clients, “It’s much easier to progress than it is to maintain.” Think progress and keep you summer shape! 

Jeff Howerton is a trainer and owner of LEAN Personal Training at Hill Center of Green Hills, where he and his trainers work with clients to lose fat, develop lean muscle and implement strategies for healthier living.

LEAN (615) 279-1900 or jeff@leannashville.com

This article has been republished from Out & About Nashville, and was part of a series of first-person pieces written by the late Bobbi Williams.

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