As the lazy days of summer are quickly approaching, the anxiety of body image perfection may be creeping up along with them. The idea that we must look a certain way to be seen in a bathing suit is in large part thanks to our society of construed body image and perfectionism. If this sounds familiar, I am here to tell you that you’re not alone, but also, I guarantee your body is imperfectly perfect the way it is. Continue reading to find out how you can help your body feel amazing this summer by adding in some healthy habits. Because feeling amazing is key to looking amazing (and is completely individualized).
Let’s start by ditching the diet mentality. Restricting calories and/or specific food groups may do more harm than good in the long run. Treat your body with respect and feed it the energy it needs and craves. When we deny our bodies of adequate calories, it ultimately becomes unhappy. It also increases the likelihood of binges and unstable blood glucose levels. So instead of depriving your body, fuel it with the proper energy and nutrients it deserves.
The best way to set yourself up for an energized and productive say starts with a nourishing breakfast. Something that I normally don’t crave year-round but I adore in the summer is a nice, thick smoothie. My usual go-to combination includes, greens (kale or baby spinach), frozen banana, berries (blueberries), nut or sunflower seed butter, non-dairy milk and one scoop of ALOHA Vanilla Protein Powder. Other satisfying breakfast options include overnight oats, protein pancakes, egg muffins, avocado or nut butter and fruit toast.
Something equally as important as eating a balanced diet is drinking water. It is especially important to increase hydration during the warmer months due to excess perspiration. Given that men are made up of approximately 60% water and women 55%, we need to continuously replenish our bodies due to losses through urination, perspiration and even breathing. There are so many health benefits to increased water consumption, including increased energy levels, glowing complexion and bowel regularity (eat your fiber, too!). When we are dehydrated, we may also experience fatigue, possibly making it harder to want to drink more water.
Some tips to help you stay hydrated and remind yourself to drink water, include keeping a reusable water bottle/canteen at your side when feasible. Physically seeing water that is placed out in front of you can be a great reminder. Consider trying out the Aqualert Google Fit app to set reminders/alarms to track water intake. If you’re not a fan of the taste of water, infuse it with frozen or fresh fruit, fresh herbs such as mint, or veggies such as cucumber. One of my favorite infusing combinations is lemon, cucumber and mint – so refreshing!
Wearing sunscreen is another crucial element for having a happy and safe summer. Firstly, nobody enjoys a sunburn. For those of you who have experienced a burn or two in your day, it can be excruciating, not to mention the annoying skin peeling that follows. Although ten minutes of sunshine without sunscreen will provide you with a daily dose of vitamin D, it is best to protect your skin when you are spending a prolonged amount of time outdoors and/or when swimming or sweating. Look to wear SPF30 even when the weather is overcast.
Remember, looking a certain way or being a certain weight will not necessarily cause total happiness unless you are happy with the process of getting there. Take some (or all) of these tips into consideration to help you have a happy, joyful summer!