Summer is all about fun in the sun and vacations. It’s easy to get into a vacation mindset all summer long, where you end up drinking and eating too much. But Labor Day officially marks the end of summer, which means you can finally get back into your fitness routine. Want to get in shape this fall? Here’s your post-Labor Day diet plan.
Eat more often
The first thing when it comes to getting back into shape is hitting the reset button and establishing some ground rules. Two ground rules that’ll help you be successful in shedding unwanted pounds are 1) to eat breakfast every day and 2) eat every 3-to-5 hours.
Eating breakfast every single day is important, even if you don’t feel hungry in the mornings. Regular meals keep your blood sugar steady, regulate your hormones, and increase your metabolism, all of which aid in weight loss.
It’s crucial, too, that you eat nutritious meals and snacks every 3-to-5 hours. Choose some easy and healthy recipes that you can whip up in a cinch. For example, healthy low-calorie breakfast options include high fiber cereal with skim milk, a banana, and blueberries. Snack options might include hummus with carrots, apples with peanut butter, and Greek yogurt with raspberries. You can easily make a salad for lunch or dinner. All you need is salad topped with lean protein, nuts or avocado slices, and a small scoop of chickpeas.
To successfully get back into shape, it’s essential that you adopt water as your beverage of choice. Sodas and fruit juices are loaded with empty calories and sugars that’ll just contribute to weight gain. Water, on the other hand, curbs your appetite, increases your metabolism, aids in digestion, and improves circulation. It also helps you debloat from foods high in salt.
Begin each day with a big glass of water, and then sip at least 48 ounces of water throughout the day. You can add lemon, lime, cucumber or mint to water to flavor it. What’s more, drink a glass of water prior to eating meals. It’ll make you feel fuller, meaning you consume fewer calories.
Cut back on carbs
While cutting down on carbs can help you shed unwanted pounds, you shouldn’t cut them out altogether. A super low-carb diet will only lead to crankiness, fatigue, and cravings that might trigger binge eating. You should include a small amount of fiber and nutrient-rich carbs in each meal, such as quinoa and beans.
For example, with breakfast, you might have a half cup of oatmeal with some fresh fruit. Or at lunch and dinner, add a half cup of quinoa, sweet potatoes, brown rice, or lentils to a meal containing lean protein and vegetables. Remember to always use measuring cups for accuracy.
Satisfy sugar cravings
While cutting out sugar is a good idea, it’s unrealistic to think that you’ll never eat sweets again. That’s why it’s important to satisfy sugar cravings with dark chocolate that contains at least 70% cacao. Dark chocolate is filled with antioxidants and minerals, and it’s heart-healthy. Make a few squares your daily treat.
Hit the reset button
When it comes to getting back into shape after the end of summer, moderation is key. Rather than depriving yourself of essential food groups, instead focus on eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, healthy fats and complex carbs. Follow the above guidelines, combining them with cardio exercise a few times a week, and you’ll notice you’re fitter in no time.