For many September signals the start of a new academic year, for others back to work after the summer vacation. It’s often a time to reflect on happy sun-soaked days but also a time to take stock of things and review if you’re on track or not for weight-loss or maintenance.
So what sort of things should you do to get back into the swing of things? Well a review of your surgical or bariatric team’s recommendations are a good start…it’s surprising how many things we forget to adhere to (like keeping the fluids up, not drinking with meals and foregoing the fizz or soda). But there are some other things you can do to jump-start your efforts at this time of year:
Try a week of ‘back to basics clean eating’:
Look at your diet and see if it follows the guidelines you are encouraged to follow. Is it full of nutritious high protein, low fat and low sugar food? When it comes to the carbs are they of the fibre-packed complex kinds found in wholegrains rather than simple sugar ones and have you got the proportions right? Make sure the ratio on your plate is one half protein, one quarter vegetables and salads and one quarter carbs (like rice, pasta and potatoes) which suits most bariatrics and is recommended by most bariatric teams. Don’t just check your main meals, look at your snacks too and stock up on some good ones to strengthen your resolve.
Give your refrigerator, pantry, freezer and office drawer a clean-out or makeover:
Vacation food, full of picnic, barbecue and ‘on the hoof’ fare can linger in store for longer than is advisable. Jettison or give away any half-empty bags of crisps/chips, biscuits, crackers and tempting indulgent treats leftover from the Bank Holiday or Labor Day cook out…then make a list and hit the supermarket for some smart and nutritious staples to replace them with.
Get cooking and plan to eat at home more often:
There is no doubt that restaurants have come a long way with their food choices but nothing, just nothing, beats the smart option that you can make at home. Choose a week’s menus, make out a shopping list and plan to eat at home for a week. It’s often the only guaranteed way of knowing what you are eating, how much you are having, and what the calories, protein and other nutritional scores are. If you have to eat out then go back to some basics like requesting that your food has the dressing or sauce served on the side, asking for a take-out ‘doggy’ bag or for minimum oil or fat used when cooking. Take control again.
Step up the exercise to suit the new season:
Your summer exercise routine of beach walking, gardening and tennis might now need revising. Switch these summer activities to more autumnal/fall friendly ones. Leaf-clearing is often a must but forest walking is very tempting and enjoyable when the leaf colour changes. Consider too a new gym or spa membership….there are lots of new offers at this time of year. And if all else fails….then hit the shopping centre or mall and check out some late summer sale bargains or early Christmas offers!