Having been born and raised in Kelowna, I am convinced that summer in the Okanagan provides an advantage when it comes to health and wellness.
Known as a four-season playground for outdoor activities, finding a way to stay active is almost never an issue. As important as it is for us to get up and move every day, exercise determines only 20 to 30 percent of our results while the other 70 to 80 percent is determined by what we eat. Old news for some, but the majority of people really have no idea what we eat has such a huge impact. How lucky are we that the entire Okanagan, rooted in agriculture, wineries and culinary delights, is home to all things food-related.
Typically, late winter or early spring is when our thoughts turn to summer. Sunshine, longer days, trips to the beach all sound amazing. But for many, the thought of trading bulky sweaters and jeans for shorts and swimsuits causes anxiety and hasty decisions are made to make changes and lose weight. Statistically spring is when the masses crash diet in an effort to get back into shape, in order to look and feel good on the beach. Unfortunately, without a plan in place to maintain those results throughout the summer and keep the weight off, the vast majority often ends up with the same (or even more) amount of weight to lose again next spring. Sound familiar? The good news is that there are things you can do to keep that summer shape year-round and be rid of the yo-yo dieting once and for all.
To lose weight, achieve your goals and maintain them, it's important to look for a program that is based on science and works with the way our bodies were designed to metabolize food. It also needs to make sense, and should be something you can do for life, even on vacation.
PFC every 3
When we eat to stabilize blood sugar, our body moves into homeostasis (balance) and at this point fat is released and used as energy. Eating a balance of Protein, Fat and Carbs within one hour of waking and every three hours throughout the day, stabilizes blood sugar and balances hormones. Metabolism is turned on, fat is burned, weight is lost, muscle is protected, blood sugar, cholesterol and blood pressure is decreased, energy is increased.
Over the last few years, Kelowna and many other cities throughout the Okanagan Valley have become known around the world as winery destinations. And, of course with wine there is always gourmet food. Add in the array of food trucks and new restaurants popping up everywhere around town and you're likely thinking I'm a little crazy for suggesting anyone could achieve and maintain weight loss anywhere in the Valley. At first glance, this abundance of summer fare could cause even the most committed waistline-watchers to throw in the towel, at least until after September long weekend. But by adopting the proven PFC every 3 lifestyle and apply these five tips, you'll be able to eat your way through summer without gaining weight.
Never arrive hungry. Going too long between meals allows blood sugar to drop, causing the body to burn muscle. Then, by the time you arrive at dinner, you're starving and are more likely to reach for the bread or chips, causing blood sugar to spike and store fat. Eating PFC throughout the day, allows you to make better choices and your body to continue burning fat rather than storing it.
Pair alcohol with food. Alcohol is a carb, so drinking it on it's own causes blood sugar to spike and fat to be stored. Having that same drink with your meal and eliminating processed and white carbs (bread, rice, potato) helps control the carb spike and avoid fat storage. For things like wine tastings and cocktail parties where alcohol is served without a meal, opting for a small handful of nuts or a little something from the meat and cheese tray.
Drink lots of water. Water not only hydrates the body, it also flushes out fat, toxins and things like salt, sugar and alcohol which cause our bodies to retain bloat.
When eating out, choose your favourite protein dish and don't be afraid to make substitutions. If you're choosing to have a glass of wine with dinner and the preferred entree includes a baked potato, sub for a tossed salad or steamed veggies. It's best to also request sauces and dressings on the side, allowing you control over the fat and sugar added to your meal.
Listen to your mom. I bet most people remember hearing their mom say breakfast was the most important meal of the day. Well, she was right. Starting your day off balanced with an energized metabolism sets the pace for good eating habits the rest of the day.
Whether it's weekend camping, backyard BBQs, touring wineries or farmers' markets, summer is the season of food here in the Okanagan. And when you choose to live the season PFC every 3 and apply the tips, you'll be able to enjoy the tastes of summer without gaining weight.
Nutritionist & Fitness Coach (IBNFC)
Tania, owner/founder of FIT Nutrition, is a global nutritionist and fitness coach, fitness instructor, workshop facilitator, educator, speaker, writer and success creator. She is currently one of only five health professionals licensed and certified in Canada to coach a proven, three-phase program providing education on the importance of blood sugar stabilization, not dieting. For more information go to fuelignitethrive.com.