Sadly, summer has come to an end! While summer is associated with eating lighter, it’s also a time that we indulge more … vacations, BBQs, rooftop parties, weekends away, margaritas poolside, etc. Many of us take a holiday from our healthy eating and exercise routines over the summer months. Like our kids, it’s time for us to go “back to school” with our eating and exercise habits.

Homework assignment:

1. Keep a food log. “I really don’t eat that much – I can’t understand why I’m not losing weight”. How many of you have ever said this? Most of us are so busy that we don’t  pay detailed attention to what we eat.  Studies have shown that those people who keep a food log can double their weight loss.

2. Start the day out with breakfast. It’s the one meal of the day you can control. The ideal breakfast contains protein, a little fat and some high fiber carbs.

3. Plan a healthy afternoon snack so you aren’t famished by the time dinner comes around. Our blood sugar tends dip several hours after lunch. This can lead to low energy levels, carb cravings and can cause overeating at the next meal.

4. Get all the trigger foods out of your environment. This means your husband’s pint of Ben and Jerry’s “Chubby Hubby”,  the chocolates on your assistants desk, etc.

5. Eat more volume based foods such as veggies, fruit and broth based soups. Not only will this boost your nutritional intake, it will also help to fill you up so you’ll eat less of the fattening foods.

6. Eat more dinners at home. Not only will you be in control of how the food is cooked and what ingredients  are used, but you will also save money. Cook a simple meal of grilled fish or broiled chicken and a salad.

7. Rev up the exercise. “It’s too hot” is no longer an excuse as the temperature starts to drop. Find an exercise buddy to join you on a lunch time speed walk. Schedule exercise sessions into your appointment book like any other appointment.

8. Set concrete attainable goals. My suggestion would be to pick 2-3 goals each week to work on.

SOURCE: Martha McKittrick RD, CDN, CDE