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How To Return To A Healthy Lifestyle After A Summer Of Bingeing

Healing | Health

Summer traditionally is a time to indulge and be carefree.  Families go on vacation; kids are out of school, and with communities bustling and people out and about, it is not hard to go out for extra meals or snack on fast food.  Interestingly, we consistently hear from the media as well as our friends and neighbors that the winter months are notorious for packing on the pounds.  With everyone staying indoors and loading up on calories during the holidays especially, the logic definitely fits.  According to SELF Magazine, though, "experts say it's not uncommon to gain weight during the hot summer months."  Yep, that is correct: Summer calories are the ones that truly sneak up on you.

Let's find out how you can return to a healthy lifestyle after a summer of bingeing!

The Summer Snack Breakdown

From riding bikes and walking around town to playing tennis and swimming at the pool, we tell ourselves that there is simply no way we could be gaining any extra weight.  On the other hand, add in all of the hotdogs, hamburgers, chips, fries, sodas, milkshakes and ice cream sundaes we consume, and the numbers no doubt look drastically different.  Before I went raw/vegan a couple of years ago, summer, not winter, used to be the hardest season for me to keep off weight.  I would eat out with friends a lot more and overindulge when it came to snacks and desserts.  For the most part, I was always pretty slender, but like most other people I know, I detested putting on any extra pounds.

Don't Be Fooled By The Summer Months

As kids go back to school, adults head back to work and the fall months start to kick in, it is the perfect time to dial back the eating and assess where you are with your overall health.  Are you still doing your morning yoga, making it to the gym or participating in your favorite local sports leagues?  Do you find yourself eating more fresh, organic produce, or is your diet currently heavy in refined sugars and carbohydrates?  Whatever your answers are, it is all good.  If your diet and physical activity are in check, then you are rearing to go for fall.  If you are not where you would like to be, though, then here are a few delicious tips to get back on the wagon and return to the gorgeous, healthy body you know and love.

Here are 4 tips for returning to a healthy lifestyle after a sinful summer:

1. Ask "Why?"

There is really no use in changing your personal patterns unless you fully understand the psychology behind them.  First, get inside your own head and question your drive and motivation.  What pushed you to abandon your healthy lifestyle and consume more empty calories?  Why were you lax on your exercise routine these last few months?  You have got to know these answers to make the positive shifts that you desire.

2. Do Not Tear Yourself to Pieces!

What is done is done, long gone and in the past.  Focus on where you are right now and how you are going to go forward constructively.  It is very easy to stress and get anxious about your past choices, allowing that negative energy to keep you from getting back on track.  Know that the longer you stay in this frame of mind, the longer your unhealthy habits will persist.  Help yourself by finding a picture of your happiest self and carrying it with you always.  Having your picture on hand to look at when necessary will help cut the negative self-talk when it crops up and instill optimistic, pleasant thoughts in your mind to fuel your productive strides to optimum wellness.

3. Focus on abundance rather than lack

The typical, go-to response for people who want to lose weight or have a healthy lifestyle is to start cutting things out of their diets and placing restrictions on what they can eat.  I say take the opposite approach: Consider all the yummy, luscious food you can stock in your fridge.  There are so many fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes and grains you can dig into without the guilt.  Decide to make more of your meals at home, and swap the cheeseburgers and fries for a fresh chopped salad.  You will still fill up and slim down at the same time.

4. Lean on your routine

 So many of us make plans to hit the gym, hop on the treadmill or go for a run with the best of intentions.  Because exercise takes work and commitment, though, many of us find reasons to justify why we just can't fit in that workout.  Like any other ambition you want to make a reality, getting fit requires a devotion to yourself and your highest good.  Hold yourself to the intention of exercising by writing a schedule that fits your daily practice.  Post it on your refrigerator, in your planner and at your computer to make sure that you se it regularly.  Writing something down makes you accountable for it, and when you are accountable, you will do it.

Find Your Healthy Lifestyle Balance

Summer ultimately has a way of taking us on a vacation from our typical lives.  The warm weather, longer days and abundant options for leisure and fun encourage us to throw caution to the wind and embrace the good times.  The relaxation and enjoyment to be had during the summer season is healthy for your mind and soul without question.

Nevertheless, in a society accustomed to living in excess particularly when it comes to food, we can easily make 1 too many unhealthful choices that take us away from where we want to be physically.  By all means, have a fantastic time and let loose when you can, but also have a basis for your health that will give you a much-needed balance.  Use the steps above to get yourself back in tip, top shape, and keep them in your back pocket from now on to set yourself up for sweet and savory success next summer and every summer thereafter.

Featured in New York Magazine, The Guardian, and The Washington Post
Featured in the Huffington Post, USA Today, and VOGUE

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