Don’t eat so much.

“Is that it?”

Yes.  Stupidly simple, but yes, that’s the nub of the matter.  Summer means longer days, more socialising, more “just one more won’t hurt”, more “shall we have chips with that?’ more “could we have another bottle please?”  There are aways of navigating round it though.Before we dive into the practical things you can do, let’s talk mindset.

I’m going to assume that if you’re reading this, you have half an eye on a good fun summer with booze and food and the other half on the fit of the proverbial Zara trousers.  In short, you care about both and I’m talking more general summer socialising (rather than the 2 week sun-fest on the Costa Brava) and of arriving at September with dignity and trousers intact.   Of course, you’re all grown-ups and you can do what the hell you like, but here are my top 5 tips for managing this whole weight gain business this Summer:

Number 1: Alcohol.  The thing with booze is, it’s not only the big fat dent in the calorie bank that’s the problem it’s the weakening of one’s resolve.  You’re determined to stick to your plan and decline the canapes, but then one glass in, and your discipline buckles. 0% drinks are so good these days, there’s no excuse not to get some in.  If social obligation calls, then go the gin&slimline route.

Number 2: Trade-offs.  Decide the meal you care about the most and adjust the other two. If dinner in the evening with the Jones’ is going to be such fun, then eat small (but high protein with lots of veg volume) at lunch and brekkie. That means you’ve got some left in the bank for later.  The following day, you don’t have to think “I’ve blown it”, just “what a lovely evening that was” and crack on.  No sabotage involved.  If you had a puncture on your car, you wouldn’t then slash the other three tyres would you?  Think about it.

Number 3: No to the nibbles.  No-one needs packets of chemical cr*p.  By the time you arrive at dinner, it’s possible to already have eaten half your bodyweight in orange and beige cardboard, most of which is devoid of any nutritional goodness whatsoever. Harsh, but true.

Number 4: Exercise.  Stick to that fitness regime you already have in place and up the steps too. I mean, light evenings mean another 5,000 don’t they, and the contribution that makes to keeping fat levels down is huge.

Number 5: Don’t wear baggy.  Wearing something close-fitting (but still comfortable, mind, no red welts round the waist) is a reminder of all your hard work over winter and how fabulous you feel.  Losing yourself in a tent or an elasticated waist which you can safely fill with buns and big dinners is tantamount to having your head in the sand.  You’ve worked hard, lovely people, so show it off!


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