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Top tips to kickstart your summer

 

12 simple tips to enjoy the sunshine feeling lean and energised. Suns out, guns out – right? If your summer vibe isn’t quite there yet, take a look through our best training, nutrition, and snacking tips to jumpstart the season.

 

What’s your summer goal?

 

There’s something about summer that boosts your motivation to be fitter, stronger, and leaner. Perhaps it’s the temperature, or the seemingly endless sunlight hours. Have your thoughts already turned to summer fitness goals?

 

The first important step towards kickstarting your summer is goal setting. Make sure your goal is personal to you (don’t copy trends). What do you want to focus on this year? Do you want to drop some body fat, get strong, enter a race, or try a new sport?

 

Make sure you have the resources to achieve your goal, and give yourself enough time. Surround yourself with people who will cheer you on. Then set yourself up for success with the best training plan and nutrition programme.

 

 

 

12 ways to master summer nutrition

 

1.Stay hydrated

 

It’s amazing how much water we lose in the summer months, even without training. And if you’re sweating it out in a humid gym, you can expect to need even more water. Stay hydrated by drinking water throughout the day. Drink a glass of water when you wake up (maybe as your coffee is brewing) and keep a drink by the side of your bed. Carry a bottle of water with you, and be sure to drink plenty during training sessions.

If you struggle to drink enough water, try some tricks to stay hydrated. Add sliced lemon, lime or orange to a big jug of water and keep it in the fridge. Pop an ice cube in your drink. Brew your favourite caffeine-free tea and refrigerate it.

 

2.Keep an eye on calories

 

It’s natural to eat more salads, stir fries and smoothies in Summer months. This can be really helpful if you’re trying to lose weight, but make sure it doesn’t lead to under-eating. Keep an eye on your calorie intake to ensure you’re still eating in line with your energy needs.

 

3.Lean protein for fat loss

 

If your Summer goal is leaning down, add PhD Diet Whey to your nutrition plan. The high protein lean matrix includes quality whey protein, CLA, green tea extract and l-carnitine with 17g protein per serving. Here’s a hot take for a cool treat: blend your Diet Whey with ice cubes for a high-protein frappe smoothie!

 

4.Revisit meal frequency

 

Warm weather can dampen your appetite (and who wants to be eating huge meals right now, anyway?) Consider increasing your meal frequency so you still hit those all-important calorie and macronutrient numbers without feeling too full.

 

5.Eat fresh and seasonal

 

Summer is an amazing time to treat your body with nourishing natural foods. Eat in line with the seasons, which means plenty of leafy greens, fruits, and salad vegetables. If you have access to a farm shop or veg box delivery service, this is a good way to branch out and try new foods.

 

 

6.How to manage a hot-weather appetite

 

Many people report that their appetite fluctuates with the seasons. Do you feel less hungry during warmer months? Science has found a link between warm temperatures and appetite suppression. This can be good news if you have a fat-loss goal, but could cause problems if you’re trying to maintain (or if your focus is training performance).

 

  • Increase meal frequency to space your daily calories out over smaller, lighter meals.
  • Find favourite go-to recipes that combine protein, carbohydrates, healthy fats and fibre.
  • Switch from heavy foods to lighter, more hydrating ingredients like fresh fruit and yoghurt.
  • Don’t be surprised if your appetite spikes once the sun has gone down – just don’t eat so late that you struggle to sleep
  • Food prep so you have healthy food to hand – it can be hard to decide what to eat when you’re hot!

 

7.Macro-friendly Summer snacks

 

Snacking can be a great way to avoid under-eating in hot weather. But choose your snacks wisely so you boost your intake of nutrients without packing in excess calories! Here are 10 macro-friendly snacks for training days, picnics, or the 3pm slump.

 

  • Fresh fruit, especially high-water content choices like melon
  • Hard boiled eggs – the perfect portable complete protein nature snack
  • Grilled chicken strips or chicken sausages
  • Chopped veggies, crudité-style, like carrot, cucumber, or bell pepper
  • PhD Smart Bars and PhD Smart Bar Plant for an indulgent high-protein, low sugar snack (trying popping them in the fridge first!)
  • High-protein yoghurts like real Greek yoghurt or Skyr
  • Sugar-free jelly blended with your favourite protein powder before setting
  • Frozen banana chunks (these also make a great addition to protein smoothies)
  • Low-fat cheese portions like mini Babybels
  • Rice cakes topped with lean protein and sliced cucumber

 

8.Pre-workout nutrition for warm weather workouts

 

Keep your pre-workout mini meals light as you head into hot and humid workouts. Good options include fruit and a protein shake (or how about a homemade protein smoothie), overnight oats, or rice salad with a protein source. PhD Smart Breakfast is hands down the simplest, tastiest way to tick off pre-workout nutrition if you train in the morning!

 

9.Stay hydrated with intra-workout nutrition

 

What about nutrition during your workout? Intra-workout supplements can boost your energy, focus, and training performance, especially in hot weather. PhD Intra BCAA+ is an advanced 4:1:1 BCAA amino blend, with hydrolysed whey protein isolate and coconut water for an ultra-refreshing training boost.

 

10.Warm-weather post-workout food choices

 

Summer is the perfect time to nail your post-workout nutrition. Remember to build these important meals around the three macronutrients (protein, carbohydrates, healthy fats) and include some fibre.

 

Make the most of lighter, nutrient-dense Summer food choices like grilled chicken, fish and seafood plus all those seasonal carb sources like new potatoes, root vegetables, and salad-friendly wholegrains.

 

11.Summer sleep and rest days

 

Struggling to sleep in the heat? You’re not the only one. Summer months can take their toll on sleep, with muggy nights and early sunrises. But it’s important to stick to a healthy sleep routine of 7-9 hours a night if you want to cultivate a fitness lifestyle.

 

  • Keep a regular sleep routine, which means going to bed (and waking up) at the same time every night
  • Leave 2 hours before your last meal and bedtime so your body can focus on sleep rather than digestion
  • It’s tempting to drink water at bedtime, but better to focus on staying hydrated during the day
  • Use blackout blinds or towels to minimise light coming into your room in the early hours
  • Cool temperatures encourage deeper sleep, so use a tower fan, air conditioning unit, or crack open a window before bed
  • Consider taking a tepid shower before bed, this has been shown to help lower your body temperature
  • A sleep mask is a cost-effective alternative to blackout blinds and ideal if you share a bed with someone who enjoys the morning light!
  • Make the most of rest days by getting out in nature to top up your Vitamin D and boost recovery

 

12.Switch up your Summer training

 

The start of Summer is a great time to branch out from your usual training sessions. There’s nothing like a boost of newness to skyrocket your goals!

 

For gym-lovers, this could mean training at a different time of day (make use of these lovely light mornings!) If you’re a big fan of group exercise classes, why not try something different, or take it outside and try a bootcamp-style session.

 

 

Nicola is a specialist freelance copywriter for the fitness industry @thefitwriter