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We’ve officially begun the summer of 2020 and it will undoubtedly be like none other. 

Summer is often a time when we not only take a vacation, but weight loss progress ‘takes a vacation’. And now, Covid-19 is creating additional challenges and stress, as well as limiting our typical summertime vacation options. Paradoxically, what we are seeing at CardioMender, MD is that the Covid-19 pandemic is also creating an opportunity for each of us to refocus on what really matters – our health and our personal relationships. 

Many people come to CardioMender, MD because they want to feel better and look better. The reality is, if ideal weight is achieved and sustained, you can have it all, plus a stronger immune system! A strong immune system has never been more important. In order to maintain ideal weight and health, you have to learn what doesn’t work and what does, and then ‘You’ve Got to Live It!’

Here are a few basic principles to live by!

1. Plan, Plan, Plan
To Achieve and Maintain Your Ideal Weight and Optimal Health! Whether you are staying local or taking a road trip, pack a cooler. Bring foods and snacks that you enjoy and are on plan so that you are able to snack every three to four hours. This way you will not find yourself overly hungry and tempted to grab off-plan choices in the moment; ones you would not ordinarily choose. You may want to review our article on the importance of having a Plan A, Plan B and Plan C!

2. Scope Things Out
Avoid putting yourself in an environment that leads you to temptation. If you choose to go out for a meal or stop on the road for a snack, scope out desirable options ahead of time. See what your options are and what your best choice might be. Remember to avoid fried foods, sauces, salad dressings and croutons, as they are a source of unwanted fats, carbs and empty calories.

3. Hydrate to Lose Weight
Did you know our brains get confused between hunger and thirst? If we are thirsty and eat, thirst is often quelled. The opposite is also true; if we drink fluids when hungry, hunger is reduced. In our country, most of us are chronically dehydrated and when we spend more time outside and are more active, we further increase our need for hydration. Therefore, it is critical to get enough fluids, with water being the best choice. It’s important to avoid drinking juices and sweetened drinks. We recommend drinking at least one gallon of fluid every day, with a minimum of half being water.

4. Cocktail Anyone?
Preferably not. Drinking alcohol causes further dehydration and is an added source of calories. When drinking, people let down their guard and tend to eat excessively and make food choices that are off plan. Alcohol consumption is therefore NEVER recommended during acute weight loss and especially if taking an FDA approved appetite suppressant. Judicious use of alcohol is allowed during maintenance once ideal weight has been achieved, though its consumption does carry serious potential health risks. If you are going to drink on maintenance, do so responsibly and avoid beer and high glycemic mixers such as juices and sodas, and choose an occasional glass of wine or vodka with soda water or diet sodas as mixers.

5. Get physical!
Summertime provides an opportunity to be outdoors and more active. Most Americans are Vitamin D deficient and having low Vitamin D is associated with a worse prognosis from Covid-19. It is now more important than ever to maintain a Vitamin D level in the mid to upper range of what is considered normal. Being in fresh air and sunlight allows our body to better defend against Covid-19 since sunshine facilitates the production of Vitamin D. Therefore, we suggest going for walks, jogs and/or bike rides. Consider taking the stairs over using the elevator. Instead of going to an indoor gym, choose an outdoor exercise class or ask your personal trainer to take your session outside, and always maintain appropriate social distancing practices. These suggestions promote safe, healthy weight loss, and will boost your immune system!

6. Have fun, reduce stress and cut yourself a break!Having fun naturally reduces stress. This helps with weight loss and improves immune defenses. If you mess up, go easy on yourself, no one is perfect. Let it be a lesson and learn from it so as not to repeat the same old patterns, because they will yield the same old results. Decide today that you will do your best. As soon as you’ve realized you have fallen off plan, regroup and incorporate what you’ve learned with what you know works. Make a commitment to yourself before your vacation starts, that if you go off plan, you can and will get right back on and not break stride.

Remember, we are always available for you!

You are worth it! Use our on-line store to get your favorite meals, snacks and supplements, wherever you are. Call us anytime for support. If you’d like a Telemedicine visit with Dr. Schiff or prefer a face to face encounter on site, just call us at (954) 628-3802 to schedule an appointment. We are just an email or phone call away; we can help when you need it most so you can Live It!

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