Don’t Let the Summer Fun Kill Your Gains

bodybuilder

by Matt Weik

The heat wave is here and your schedule for the Summer seems to have your calendar slammed with places you need to be. Family and friends are all putting on parties and you don’t want to miss out, so you plan on attending all of them. Time to show off the physique you have been building creating thanks to your clean diet and the addition of cardio to get you ready for the warm weather. Throw on your shorts and tank top but don’t let your diet fly away with the cool breeze. Find ways to have fun while still making healthy choices that won’t ruin your hard work. Below are a few ways to help you stay on track.

Workout in the morning

The best time of the day to get a workout in when you have parties to attend would definitely be in the morning. By doing a workout in the morning, you are opening up the rest of the day to whatever you need to get done. Also, by working out in the morning, you’re less likely to miss your workout because you got caught up in the middle of something else and had to change your plans. By starting the day off on the right foot with a workout, your metabolism is already jump started and you will be burning more calories throughout the day so you can enjoy yourself at your Summer party without feeling back for skipping your workout to attend.

Eat throughout the day of a party

It’s smart to eat throughout the day of a party. This will keep you full throughout the day so when you go to the party you aren’t starving and eat everything in sight. Also, by eating throughout the day, you will have a constant supply of nutrients to feed your muscles and help them grow and recover. Some people say macros don’t count at parties. Those are the same people who find themselves two weeks later saying they really need to get back on their diet as that single day spent with friends and family eating and having fun has continued for the next couple weeks. Those calories from treats and desserts add up quickly.

Eat healthy foods at the party

Your best bet when watching your weight at Summer parties is to make sure you don’t over-indulge. It is very easy to step off the right path when you see all of that good (but unhealthy) food. Your food of choice while at a party should be focused on protein. Where most people get in trouble is with all the foods that are loaded with carbs and fats. Summer parties bring families and friends together but it also brings along pies and cakes and foods you shouldn’t really be eating. Load up your plate with some protein and dig in. The great thing about protein is that it fills you up fairly quickly and it also keeps you full longer so you don’t binge on poor choices as the party goes on.

If you find yourself hungry either before or after a meal at a party and you don’t want to fall off track with your fitness goals, your best bet is to grab for some nuts. Anything from peanuts to almonds will do just fine. Another alternative if there aren’t any nuts available would be vegetables. It’s not uncommon to see carrots, celery, broccoli, and such as snacks laying around at gatherings. However, where you see veggies, you will also see dips. The smart move would be to stay away from the dips, as most of them are full of fats. If you must, put a little dip on your plate to eat with your veggies to give them some extra flavoring but don’t overdo it.

Drink plenty of water

Water not only keeps you hydrated, but it is also a zero calorie beverage. A much better choice when compared to what most people are consuming during parties. With alcohol flowing during these times, it is hard to say no to the temptation. However, if you are truly set on reaching your fitness goals, you must stick with water. Not to mention no one like a hot sweaty drunk guy. If you decide to have some drinks, it is best to spread them out over a couple hours and to “nurse” the drink so you aren’t tempted to quickly slam it down and get another one. By drinking plenty of water you will also feel fuller throughout the day so you will be less likely to binge on foods that you shouldn’t be eating. This not only cuts down on your calorie intake, but it also makes sure you are properly hydrated during those hot summer days.

Avoid extra calories from alcohol

Alcohol not only adds extra calories to your diet, but it also lowers testosterone which is needed to help build lean muscle mass. Those couple drinks that you have at a party can easily add up to well over 1,000 calories by the time the night is over. Guess what happens to those added calories? They get stored as FAT! Something you don’t want to happen, especially during the summer where you’re heading to the beach or the pool. The worst part is, people mixing drinks, not only are they getting extra calories from the alcohol, but they’re also getting unnecessary calories from the soda they are using to mix their drink with. And beer, yes, we are all aware that people love to drink beer (some in excess). It is in your best interest to lower your beer/alcohol consumption especially if you want to see better results with your fitness goals.

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