5 Tips to Keep Those BBQ Pounds Off
We all know regular exercise and a lean diet are essential when trying to attain or maintain a fit physique. For many of us, however, the summer months can be a challenge with cottage trips, patio invites, pool parties, and BBQ’s. How can we ensure that we’re doing the right things to keep that summer bod in check without missing out on all the fun? Here are five fit tips that can keep your summer lifestyle and physique in motion.

 

Don’t Drink your Calories
We hear it all the time. Drink at least 8 glasses of water daily and have water instead of sodas and sugary drinks. What about the post-work patio time and weekend BBQs where beer and cocktails are in abundance? The unfortunate news is that it is very easy to consume large amounts of calories when they are in liquid form. A typical beer or mixed drink can range from 150 – 250 calories per serving. If you can keep things in moderation, the good news is that there are better choices so that you don’t have to sacrifice your lifestyle and hard work. If you like to enjoy a cold brew after work, cut your calories in half by opting for a great tasting light beer, such as Michelob Ultra. While many other beers have 150+ calories, Michelob Ultra only has 80 calories and 2.6 grams of carbs. If a refreshing cocktail is more your thing, go for a soda water and lime or try a lower calorie unsweetened alternative, such as Socialite Vodka, which has 90 calories and is gluten-free.

Get Your Veggies On
It’s hard to resist the smell of a BBQ stacked with burgers. There is nothing wrong with having a burger or a deliciously grilled steak from time to time. It’s important to remember that we can control our portion sizes and still enjoy a good BBQ. Aim for just one burger or a piece of steak about the size of your fist and ensure that you have far more veggies on your plate than meat. As an alternative to beef, try making your own veggie burgers or grill a pre-made option, such as Yves kale and root vegetable patties. Veggie options can provide you with a great tasting alternative that is far lower in calories and fat with the benefit of added vegetables in your diet.

Be Active Daily
Exercise doesn’t have to mean spending every day in the gym pushing through a rigorous workout. Summer is a great time to be outdoors and try new activities, such as rollerblading, running, biking or kayaking. Make a point to do something every day for at least 30min even if that means going outside for a brisk walk. Consistency is everything when it comes to results. You become what you do regularly, so make sure you get your activity in as part of your daily routine and lifestyle. To maintain motivation and track your daily activity, an activity tracker can be an excellent tool.

Exercise Effectively
Sometimes we spend more time exercising than we need to and we do not realize that we are being ineffective. In many cases, this is where people will hit an exercise plateau or simply drop off due to the time it requires, a lack of motivation, or absence of results. To maximize your efforts, try setting aside 30 minutes of exercise time first thing in the morning and take a full body, functional approach to your strength workouts. The more muscles you involve in each exercise, the higher the demand on your heart and cardiovascular system. This increased demand promotes a stronger heart and lungs and it burns more calories while you challenge your strength, core, and joint stabilizers. This can be as simple as adding a shoulder press to your squat as opposed to doing each exercise separately. Additionally, taking minimal rest between exercises and completing them in a circuit format can be much more effective time-wise. This is a great chance to use your creativity, so come up with 3-5 combination exercises and put them into action!

Choose an End of Summer Event
A great way to keep your focus and your summer exercise routine on track is to commit to an event at the end of the summer. Knowing that you have a running race in the fall, for example, can keep you committed to regular run training. There are several Fall event options all across Canada. Ultra Night Run provides a unique 5K and 10K run option that combines, fitness, fun and a post-run celebration with live music. There’s nothing more rewarding than finishing a race you trained for with an ice-cold brew, live DJ, and a bunch of your friends!

Brent Bishop is a celebrity trainer, on-air fitness expert, author and founder of Think Fitness Studios.

More about Brent: IamBishop.com