Summer is back in full force, complete with daylight creeping into the wee hours of the morning. The solstice arrived, marking the official start to the season. And Alaskans (true to fashion) hit the ground running. There are fishing expeditions to plan, camping trips to pack for, and a lot of post-winter activities to catch up on. 

After spending so much time cooped up dealing with the dark and cold, it’s easy for summertime to morph into a built-in excuse to let your weight loss progress stray a bit off course. After all, you’ve earned the chance to take a deep breath, relax, and allow a few indulgences to sneak in. 

It’s important to be kind to yourself and design leeway into your lifestyle, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t continue working toward your weight loss goals. Prioritizing your health this summer will give you the chance to hike longer, play more, and get the most out of enjoying these sunny Alaska days.

So, how can you set yourself up with a plan that incorporates some of that much-needed freedom, but doesn’t have you gaining back the weight you’ve worked hard to lose? Check out these 5 tips to keep your weight on track this summer:

1. Budget your calories. Most of us aren’t going to decline that campfire s’more or turn away every option at a summer barbeque. It’s important to remember that one indulgence is different than a few, and just because you veered off of your meal plan by having an overly sweet cocktail or some additional junk food, doesn’t mean your entire progress for that day was wasted. If you know that you’ll need a little wiggle room for your calories, budget those calories accordingly. Eat a salad with lean protein for dinner and then say yes to the s’mores, or enjoy a burger and skip the dessert. 

2. Track your water every. single. dayEven if you pride yourself on doing a fantastic job of drinking plenty of water, fact-check the amount. Download an app like MyFitnessPal that will allow you to keep a record of your daily water intake, or just jot down simple notes using your phone. When you’re rushing from one adventure to another or hurrying home from work to try and squeeze in an evening outing, it can be easy to let hydration slide. Water doesn’t just help by increasing the feeling of fullness, it allows your cells to function properly. And your cells’ functionality impacts your metabolism. Don’t cheat your body out of being able to metabolize fully by slacking in the water department. 

3. Plan plenty of breaks during road trips. It’s tempting to drive, drive, and drive until you get to your destination. But the human body was made to move, and going too long without activity can negatively impact your mental and physical health. Be sure to coordinate enough time during your Alaska road trip adventures to pull over every half hour or so and walk around, do a few air squats, stretch, whatever feels most appropriate for you. 

4. Try to stick to an exercise schedule. We’re all guilty of letting our 10 o’clock bedtime inch closer and closer to midnight. And though it’s tempting to hit the snooze button and start mentally removing tasks from your day’s agenda, try not to let exercise be one. With plenty of daylight, there’s no reason to skimp on getting in a few twenty-minute walks throughout the day. And there’s no reason to set yourself up with a crazy exercise regiment that you know will be a struggle to stick to all summer. The right kind of exercise is the kind that you’ll do consistently. Pick an activity that feels natural and a schedule that seems achievable, and then have fun working it into your day. 

5. Don’t avoid the scale all summer. The scale isn’t a tool to make you feel guilty or angry. It’s a way to manage a healthy BMI, and if you’ve been avoiding it week after week or month after month, you’re just going to create more stress for yourself. There are a lot of reasons the number on the scale may change and maintaining your goal weight doesn’t mean your weight won’t move every now and then. But, by sticking to a healthy pattern of weekly weigh-ins (either at home or in our clinic) you’ll have the power to know if you’re getting a little too far off track. And even if you backpedal on your weight loss, there’s always a new day and a new chance to refocus yourself and your goals. 

Balance is key. Working with the right team to help achieve that balance can be fun, empowering, and give you a whole new goal to start crushing this summer.  

Do you have any tips or tricks that help you stay on track with your health and wellness goals? Send us an email, or shoot us a message on Facebook – we’d love to know what works for you!