The dog days of summer are officially upon us, and you may be hiding out indoors, escaping heat, humidity, and air-advisory warnings. This may tempt you to overeat, and you may worry that it could hamper success on your medical weight loss plan. But it doesn’t have to—here are five things to do instead of eat when the temperature soars this summer.
- Start a home improvement project. It’s tough to eat when you have your hands (literally) full, which makes a home improvement project a great idea when you’re stuck inside. Paint a wall, refinish that old desk, or reupholster your dining room chairs. Plan your work schedule during the times you’re most likely to binge—for example, in the mid-afternoon or early evening.
- Cook! Yes, it sounds counterintuitive. But spending time cooking something good for you not only keeps you from eating, it can also boost your self-confidence and motivation. The only rule? It must be healthy and should be of sufficient quantity to allow you to freeze some for later. If you make something a bit more complicated and start cooking when you feel the urge to eat something, by the time you’re done, it’ll probably be meal time!
- Donate (or sell). When else do you have the time to clean out closets, the garage, and the basement? This is a great way to divert yourself and get a nice tax write-off, or some money in your pocket. Grab some bags, your digital camera, and a big water bottle. Pack up the stuff you want to donate and photograph the items you think you can sell on Craig’s List or eBay. Then make a plan to reward yourself with a (non-food) gift with the money you make, or save on your taxes.
- Head to the library. Nothing engrosses like a great book, especially during the summer. Take a morning or afternoon and spend it at your local library. Plan to do some of your reading there, in addition to checking out books. Since public libraries don’t allow food or drinks, it’s a great way to ensure you won’t be tempted while doing your reading.
- Hit the waterpark. We know there comes a point where you need to get outside, no matter how hot it is. Public waterparks can help the whole family get fun and exercise while escaping the heat. Ten trips down the giant waterslide can burn 100 calories and is much more fun than the gym. Many community waterparks also have pools, so you can swim in addition to sliding and splashing. Bring along the kids in your life and see how many more calories you burn!
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