Habits. They can move quickly, in each direction. We are now sitting near the end of summer, and I am not sure how many of you are in the same boat as I am, but all of the days spent patio hopping and lounging lakeside and beachside have caught up to me. I’m actually terrified of when it comes time to put on my fall clothes because I know they are going to be TIGHT! The good news, however, is that we can recreate good habits just as quickly as the bad habits. But don’t try and do it all at once.

I enjoy a cold beer or two as well as a few glasses of wine all too often in the summer. And seeing as how there are still a couple of weeks to enjoy glorious sunshine, I know I would be setting myself up for failure if I said I will give it all up. But cutting back is easy, without any sense of deprivation. One of my best tricks is taking my wine and making it into a spritzer. This way, instead of drinking 9 ounces of wine in a sitting, I can break 6 ounces up into two servings when I combine it with ice, soda water and some fresh lime. And the bonus…you can use cheap wine! So not only are you saving calories but you are saving money too!

Snacking and summer go hand in hand, no? And I am a huge fan of salty snacks, chips and salsa being my favourite. I know there is no way I can get away from snacking, especially when I am enjoying a Sunday afternoon barbeque with my friends, but I can limit the calories and increase the nutrients I am consuming by switching up what I am snacking on. My new go-to is fresh, organic veggies, such as cherry tomatoes and snap peas, with some hummus. It is easy to forget sometimes how delicious fresh veggies can be and they are also full of fibre and hydration. Fresh fruit is also in abundance during the summer months, so I try and have one of my favourites, like a juicy peach, before I head to a barbeque or a patio. This satisfies my hunger and my taste buds as well as hinders my need to snack, meaning I will eat less before dinner arrives.

Hot late nights also play a role in over-indulging, as we tend to eat dinner later which allows more time to snack. Try to keep your dinner to an earlier time and keep it somewhat light. If you find yourself feeling hungry an hour or so later you may need to add a little more to your meal.

There is no need to cut everything out all at once, or to completely deprive yourself, but the sooner you get control of your bad summer habits the better off you will be come fall (and you won’t be stuck in baggy sweatpants while you shop for new pants).