Summer is a busy time and now that most of us are free to go to events I am sure there will be plenty of food and fun this summer.
To stay on track with your health goals practice these strategies at home AND when you are busy attending all those fun summer events.
1. Don’t forget your long-term goal.
Set a 90 Day Goal this summer so you have something to aim for, such as to get your A1c lower or go down a clothing size around the waist.
If you have every read the Stephen Covey book 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, you know that habit 2 is Begin with the End in Mind. Where do you want to be at the end of the summer with your diabetes health? What do you want your A1c to be? Your waistline to be or your clothing size to be? Of course, you need to be realistic when choosing your end goal, but you need something to work towards. In the words of Zig Ziglar, “if you aim at nothing you will hit it every time”.
Write down your long-term goal and your weekly goals, and even daily goals, and keep them where you will look at them daily – on your phone or in a journal, on the fridge or even notes around the house.
2. Use a system for tracking your progress.
This could be MyFitnessPal, Fitbit or other apps, good old pen and paper journal, or a continuous glucose monitoring system. If you have ever written down what you eat for a few days or used a continuous glucose monitor or tracked your activity on your phone or watch you know how powerful that feedback is in staying aware of how you are really doing.
3. Ask for support.
Get help from family or friends or hire a coach. One of the biggest reasons people succeed in structured weight loss programs is due to having accountability. If you have made a commitment to your coach that you will do something you are more likely to follow through and work on it. If you have an appointment with your exercise buddy or trainer you are more likely to show up instead of making excuses to yourself why you can’t exercise right?
4. Think of movement as your medicine.
It’s not just something we SHOULD do. It’s like taking our daily medicine. Why do we take our prescription medication faithfully as prescribed, but we don’t do exercise and food medicine daily? Maybe we just need to change the way we think of food and exercise. The impact of being active and exercising is huge after meals. If you exercise at least every other day it will help control your blood sugars all day every day, because it reduces insulin resistance and burns up sugar for energy. If you need a push to get you going recruit exercise partners or join a league. You might do different activities with different friends or family members. Some might enjoy tennis or golf while another might enjoy walks or hiking. You may or may not enjoy exercise, but would you rather have to take more pills or insulin instead?
5. Choose a carb management method:
You can do carb counting, a daily carb limit, the plate method, or just avoid certain carb foods like bread. Whatever method you choose, you need boundaries of some sort. Like the rumble strips on the highway that get your attention when you are veering off track, portioning carbs in some way will let you know when you have gone too far in the wrong direction. If you need a jumpstart coaching session to set up your customized menu plan, contact me for more info.
6. Drink enough water!
Aim for 48-64 oz water. Remind yourself of all the things water does for your body like flushing out toxins and cushioning joints. Most importantly, in the summer heat, water helps regulate body temperature and maintain electrolyte balance. Don’t wait until you are thirsty because our sense of thirst is not dependable enough. Usually by the time we notice we are thirsty we are already dehydrated.
7. Practice Less Starch, More Veggies!
Practice and plan according to the Plate Method: Half your plate should be vegetables, ¼ meat/protein and only ¼ starch. The whole idea is to eat more foods that are low carb and high nutrition and less of the starch, which is high carb and higher calorie. If you are hosting a social event, make sure you are also offering some tasty grilled or raw veggies to go with the burgers, brats, steak, or chicken. Maybe try some kabobs and alternate veggies and meat!