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  1. I don’t like Mondays!

  2. Plan ahead

  3. Aim for 80/20

  4. Exercise early

  5. Don’t let perfect get in the way of very good

  6. Vary training

  7. Stick to your guns

Ahoy! Hoist the mainsail! As summer holidays hit full speed, our work and school schedules morph into different patterns and it is all too easy for daily exercise and nutrition practices to get left behind. Picnics, barbecues and sundowners can soon have us undoing months of well-laid plans, packing on the pounds and diving overboard.

Here are a bunch of ideas to help you navigate the wonderful long, hot days of summer when party pies, alcohol and well-meaning but highly persuasive relatives can threaten to derail your better self.


If I had a penny for every time I have listened to people say they aren’t ready to change the way they eat or how they exercise because they have birthdays and weddings, holidays or parties coming up, I’d be the proud owner of a 80 footer moored in the Med.

“I’ll start in a month or two when things settle down again”.

My question is always, “why wait?”. There is never a perfect time to begin, when all the planets are aligned, ne’er a skerrick of temptation nor stress in sight and all your duckies are sitting pretty, mouths agape, wings poised, ready to applaud your efforts.

Photo by Pixabay

Truth of the matter is, these occasions will always be looming (if you’re lucky). It makes more sense to me to learn how to smartly sail through them rather than to wait for the first Monday in the following week, month or year to change course.


If there were only one piece of advice I could dole out it would be this: set yourself up for making smart choices by thinking beforehand about what it is you wish to do.

  1. If you have several social functions in a week, choose the one/s you whereby you will drink alcohol and eat.

  2. If there will be only canapés at the function, eat well first so you don’t end up diving headfirst into the crisp bowl.

  3. If it is mid week it should be easy to choose not to drink, which will in turn help stopping for pizza on the way home.

  4. Make a healthy frittata1 & pack a tasty salad for picnics or sling some chicken/halloumi & veg skewers on the bbq.

  5. Learn how to knock up quick & easy healthy dressings & marinades1 to make simple food sing. Whip up a batch & store in the fridge for multiple meals.

  6. Plan your exercise around your schedule and stick to it.

1 Would you like some recipes? Comment below.

3. AIM FOR 80/20

Aaaah, balance and moderation!  These two elusive little suckers we strive for endlessly…..  If you know you have a big celebratory meal, choose to eat sparingly before and after.  Aim for light, protein-rich meals with veggies or salad and keep your water up. Maybe up the exercise a bit or fit in an extra walk.

Food is many things – nourishment, energy, sustenance and also a key way for us to commune and break bread together, so enjoy these moments properly and then simplify things again. Rather than beating yourself up for having seconds of Auntie Ada’s legendary cheesecake, relish every mouthful as it really won’t affect the bigger picture provided you pare things back a tad afterwards.


There is no perfect time to exercise and many prefer to do so after work at the end of the day.  However, it sets you up for the day, you have achieved something before breakfast and hopefully, life has not had a chance to get in the way yet.  You may have the best intentions of doing a 6pm spin class but then your boss calls a last minute meeting, your child throws up in the car or you realise you left your kit at home.  Life.  Minimise the chances and get stuck in early.  Think of it as earning credits for the party you are attending later.

Photo by Pixabay


Keep aiming for the bullseye and you will steadily become better at hitting it but close enough is good enough too when options are limited. Don’t beat yourself up if you made smart plans and had great intentions of saying no to the champagne and caviar (you can always dream) and then the moment arrived and you simply had to nosedive in. Enjoy it, own it and then get straight back to moving and eating well straight afterwards. In the big scheme of things this is one moment. Lighten up the next day, get sweaty and you’ll feel fine and be back on track. Things only go awry if the next meal and the one after that consist of poor nutrition and lazy choices.


If you have been doing the same workouts for months or you are finding it difficult to attend your usual classes, now is the time to mix it up. This doesn’t have to mean finding lots of extra time, in fact you’d be better to up the intensity and reduce the time both from a fitness perspective and to maximise your time. Throw in a 20-30 minute HIIT session. You can do this at home with a skipping rope or hill sprints or at the gym with a kettlebell or medicine ball. Focus on keeping the heart rate up and the intensity as high as you can tolerate (ensure you warm up well). Fast, efficient and oh so effective. Bam!

Photo by nappy


Set your intentions before you launch yourself into a social gathering and don’t be swayed by well-intentioned friends and family plying you with food and drink you don’t want.  You don’t have to be rude but you are also not obliged to eat Great Aunt Maud’s triple decker sponge cake if you choose not to.   Alternatively, accept it, try it and then hide the rest in the nearest pot plant and blame the dog – works every time!

I hope you find these straightforward, common-sensical strategies useful.  If you are tired of feeling bleurgh at this time of year, choose to do it differently and give yourself the best chance of navigating a straight-ish course rather than drowning three sheets to the wind!

Share, comment, take action & let me know if you want any of the recipes I mentioned……thanks for reading!

#summersocialising #tipstostayingontrack

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