5 Tips on How to Avoid the Summer Bulge

Ah summer, the time of year when we are all supposed to look our body best.

Some of you, like me, will have been working hard on improving your overall health and fitness levels over the past year.

And now that summer has arrived (not that anyone has told the Irish weather!) it’s time to enjoy the fruits of our labours and wear that smaller size, or rock your white jeans with pride.

However summer is not without its hidden dangers for those who wish to continue upon their healthy path.

At first glance, it seems that it’s the ideal season to be healthy, salads and fruit abound.

The reality though, is more likely to involve over indulging at BBQs, weddings and parties.

Throw in a holiday or two where we tend go hell for leather enjoying ourselves, and it’s no wonder that September is the busiest month for gym sign ups, rather than January, which I would have presumed.

Here are just a few tips to ensure that you can still make the most of your summer, without undoing all your hard work to date.

Make Smart Choices


Between the multiple shots of spirits, fruit juices, syrups and sugars added to them, a cocktail can be as many calories as a doughnut!

Your best option is a clear spirit such as gin or vodka, mixed with a slimline tonic or soda water.

They can be pretty bland so a splash of fresh lime juice can liven it up.

Personally I’m a fan of Hendricks gin, with a slimeline tonic, slice of cucumber and a sprinkle of black pepper. Nothing boring about that!

But as with all alcohol, the calories are still there so do limit it to once a week if possible and drink a glass of water for every alcoholic drink you consume.

Be Prepared when Travelling


In the past, my holiday began in the airport.

A holiday to me meant overeating.

A cappuccino and pain au chocolate in the airport would start me off.

Then on to the shops to buy sweets and snacks for the plane.

Before I even arrived at my destination I’d probably piled on a pound or two! Now I travel prepared.

I have some raw cashew/almond/pistachio nuts in my bag, a bottle of water with me at all times, and when I am craving something sweet I have a Quest bar. Only 1g of sugar but 20g of protein.

They keep me full and energised if there are no other healthy options.

Real food is of course always your best option, but these are great to keep in your bag as a just in case alternative.

Swap Ice Cream for a Dairy Free Alternative



Again, moderation is the key here.

But when you do need an ice cold sweet treat then there are lots healthier options that are just as delicious if not more so!

Irish brand Nobo is my go to ‘clean cheat’.

It’s made from a base of avocado and coconut milk and has no artificial additives.

A scoop or two of their Vanilla & Coconut flavour with chopped strawberries is delicious, as is their lemon flavour with blueberries.

Or for those of you with some time on your hands, you can make your own using chopped up frozen banana.

All you need is blender and some patience.

I’ve found that a nice mix is to add organic cacao powder, a drizzle of maple syrup and raspberries, but the world is your oyster when it comes to adding ingredients.

Get Moving


What better time is there to be active? It’s brighter for longer and the weather is milder.

If you are predominantly a sedentary person then now is the ideal time to introduce some exercise into your routine.

A walk in the evening or a cycle at the weekend will all help to alleviate the diet pressures that the summer party season bring.

If you already have a regular exercise routine then why not try and add in an extra day per week?

Or just incorporate some additional walks. It all helps!

Plan Ahead


Inform yourself of the restaurants menu before you arrive so that you can make your choice ahead of time while still in a strong mind frame, as opposed to when you are hungry with maybe a glass of wine on board, which will weaken your resolve.

If you are attending a wedding/BBQ/party, then make sure that you have a healthy fibre and protein rich snack before you arrive.

This will allow you to make healthy choices on your arrival.

Hummus and carrot sticks for example or some nuts and an apple, will help to keep you on track.

But most of all, don’t be too hard on yourself.

You should be aiming to live a healthy lifestyle, not to follow a strict, depriving, short term diet.

If you do overindulge then don’t beat yourself up about it.

Just draw a line underneath that day and start fresh the next day.

A healthy breakfast is key to getting back on track, start as you mean to go on.


Have you any other tips to share for a healthy and enjoyable summer?

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