Summer is over, and with it comes the end of the days at the beach, the week long vacations, and the months of slacking on your diet and training. Sure the past 90 days of fun in the sun were great, but as fall approaches, it’s time to get back into school (or work) mode.
Unfortunately, most people can’t just switch back into full blown work mode when summer ends. In fact, most of us take a few solids weeks to really get our groove back. But, why waste weeks trying to get yourself back on track?
Ahead, we’ve got a whole slew of tips you can start using right now to get back into the swing of things and on your way to shedding some of that accumulated summer excess.
Tips to Get Back in the Groove
While it might be tempting to jump right back into your pre-summer diet and training plan, it’s important to take things one step at a time. Leading up to summer, you were probably training 5-6 times a week and keeping a stranglehold on your calories, so as to achieve the ultimate summer beachbody.
Now that summer is over, and you’ve had your weeks of leisure and excess, it’s time to tighten up and get back on track. But, that doesn’t mean going from 0-100 in a day or two time.
The most important thing when getting back into the swing of things is to avoid extremes and quick fixes. Remember, health and fitness is a life-long journey, not a one night stand.
Ease back into your training schedule by training 2-3 days per week instead of going every day. And while you’re training, make sure to keep a little bit in the tank. The worst thing you can do is go all-out your first couple of times back in the gym and make yourself so sore, you have to take another week off just to recuperate.
The same goes with your diet — make small tweaks instead of drastically cutting calories or eliminating entire food groups.
The small changes will lead to massive results over time, and by starting slow, you’ll also be able to sustain this new lifestyle throughout the year, and into next summer.
Schedule Your Workouts
People make schedules for a few reasons. It keeps them on track during their hectic days, and it holds them accountable. If you’re struggling to get back in the gym and start lifting again, start by pulling out your planner, monthly calendar, or smartphone and write down what days of the week you will train as well as what body part you’re training and what time you’re going to train.
The old adage goes: “Failing to plan is planning to fail.”
Nowhere is this more true than with regards to fitness. By writing down your training schedule, you’ve blocked out a segment of your day to better yourself and improve your health and wellness.
Enjoy this time and make the most of it. Use your training session as a way to block out all of the distractions and stressors from the day. Think of it as your own personal “you time”, when nothing else matters — just getting fit and making gains. Turn off the phone, crank up the music, and get after it!
Following up on the previous point in regards to planning, meal prep is another means you can take to getting back on track post summer. Planning and preparing your meals takes the guesswork out of what you’re going to eat during the day, and it saves you hours each day. By setting aside a block of time on the weekend to cook, you’re eliminate wasted time each weekday spent planning, preparing, and cooking.
Plus, by cooking your own meals, you know exactly what goes into them, as well as how many calories, proteins, carbs, and fat. It’s damn near impossible to know the exact macronutrient breakdown of the food you get at restaurants. If you’re serious about getting your pre-summer physique back, nutrition is the key, and prepping your own food is the only way to know with absolute certainty that you’re hitting your daily calorie and macronutrient goals is by cooking your own food.
You’ll save money and time by batch cooking your meals for the week and be one step closer to being back on schedule.
Eat Foods You Enjoy…within Reason
While on the topic of food, we’d be remiss if we didn’t address what kind of foods you should be eating when you’re getting back on track.
So, what types of food should you be eating?
The ones you enjoy and can eat regularly. Far too often when people get back into the swing of things, they immediately jump on some fad diet and start alienating food groups left and right.
While any fad diet can work for a few days, none of them are sustainable. This includes newer trends like carnivore and keto diets, too.
When planning out your meals, make sure to include foods you enjoy in those meals. Otherwise, your chances of sticking to that meal plan are slim and none. If you don’t like chicken, rice, and broccoli, go for steak, potatoes, and asparagus, or fish, quinoa, and cauliflower.
And when it comes to desserts or “treats”, there’s no need to completely eliminate those either. You can still have things like ice cream, pizza, and even beer. These kind of foods fall into the “rewards” category which we’ll get to a little further down. But for now, just realize that none of those “bad” foods are actually bad or off limits. You will be able to enjoy them…within reason.
Get to Sleep
Summer is time of staying up late, partying with friends, and have late-night Netflix binges. Unfortunately, even those must come to an end…at least if you want to be fully functioning for work or school during the week.
And that means getting to bed at a decent time and getting a sufficient amount of sleep. For most of us, that’s between 7-9 hours a night.
Sleep is crucial to health and wellness. It’s also your body’s prime recovery and muscle building time, when hormone activity is at its highest. Even just a couple sleepless nights is enough to throw insulin sensitivity and cortisol levels out of whack, which doesn’t do much benefit for getting back in shape.
Establish a set time that you will go to bed every night and stick to it. Additionally, try to avoid looking at bright screens 2 hours before bed. TVs, smartphones, tablets, and other electronic devices emit blue light which disrupts your melatonin secretion and circadian rhythm, making it nearly impossible to get to sleep at night.
Sleep is more important that the late night talk shows, and Netflix will be there tomorrow, so turn of the TV, phone, and tablet and get to bed. Your gains and productivity depend on it!
Set Goals and Reward Yourself
We all set goals, but only those of us who know how to formulate a plan of attack and carry it out are able to accomplish those lofty goals.
And the good news is, you can be one of these people.
Goal-setting in and of itself isn’t very effective for most people. Simply setting a goal without devising a plan is a recipe for disaster. That’s why we’ve laid out these steps above — to help you plan your road to success.
Additionally, setting lofty goals is admirable, but you’ll have a greater chance of reaching those goals if you set several mini-goals that lead up to the big goal. Breaking a bigger goal, say losing 20 pounds, into smaller goals (i.e losing 5 pounds per month), make the goal seem less daunting and more achievable.
When you accomplish each of these mini goals, give yourself a reward. These mini rewards keep you motivated and on track to achieve your ultimate big-picture goal. This is where treats like cookies, cake, ice cream, or pizza come into play. If you stayed true to your diet and training plan all week, you’ve earned a reward meal on the weekends. Remember, indulgences are NOT cheat meals, they are rewards for your hard, diligent work throughout the week.
We all fall off track from time to time, whether it’s by chance or a planned break. But, those breaks shouldn’t lead to prolonged layoffs from the gym or a healthy nutrition plan. Use the tips outlined above to help get back in the swing of things if you’ve fallen off track. And, if you’re looking for some extra energy, motivation, and focus to get back in the gym, check out Condemned Labz Convict Stim.
Convict Stim is a high energy, performance boosting pre workout that obliterates fatigue, boosts attention, and increases motivation. It’s the perfect pre workout for those days when you’re wanting to skip the gym, but know you’ve committed to showing up and putting in the work.
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