Tips for Losing Weight During the Summer
Summer is coming, and getting into shape is on everyone’s mind. People are more active and seek to shed the extra pounds gained during the sedentary days of winter. However, the past few summers have seen extreme heat, which can also make it difficult to get out and about.
In addition, everyone loves summer foods, which are high in calories. Think ice cream, hot dogs, and fried dough. None of these snacks are nice to the waistline.
The good news is, no matter what time of year or where we are located, making healthy choices is always an option. Summer is the perfect time to explore new fruits, add refreshing salads to the mix, and put out veggie plates.
The idea is that you can start making good choices now, so you’re not stuck in midsummer with more weight than before. How does that happen? In this article, we’ll explore a bunch of tips and ways in which you can lose weight now, and continue through the summer months.
Top Tips for Summer Weight Loss
These are the latest rage and are packed with powerful nutrients and probiotics that are good for your gut. Summer foods can sometimes upset the stomach, and yogurt is a great way to keep things settled. Smoothies bowls contain ice, so they will also keep you cool and hydrated.
Get Your Swim On
Swimming is one of the most engaging physical activities on the planet. Many people don’t realize it’s such a powerful form of exercise.
Think about it. You’re moving every muscle in your body. That’s why professional swimmers are in great shape. Their bodies are lean because swimming is an incredible aerobic exercise that increases your heart rate.
It doesn’t hurt that the water will also keep your body cool. Unless you’ve slipped into a hot tub, and that’s a whole other story!
Get Down with Gardening
Being around nature and, specifically, plants that you have nurtured and loved, is already good for your body, mind, and soul. Summer is the perfect time to be in the garden, and if you make the effort early, you can reap the rewards later on.
Gardening is also a good source of exercise. Moving, planting, and digging for a few hours can burn up to a pound a week. Just an hour of weeding burns 150 calories, and heavier tasks, like trimming hedges, can burn up to 400 calories in an hour.
Want to get specific? Here’s a gardening calorie calculator for everything that can be done in the yard.
Don’t Drink Your Sugars
We all know this is one of the worst things you can do and the quickest way to gain weight. Drinking your calories is no joke. Have you ever read the side of a soda can? That’s never going to be conducive to weight loss.
In the summertime, people tend to go overboard on sugary drinks. Fruit juices, sodas, shakes, coffee drinks, slushies, cocktails, the list goes on. These beverages are some of the leading causes of obesity and can also dehydrate your body without giving any satiety.
This is where good choices come in since the beverage industry is working against us. In fact, a Harvard study on sugary drinks revealed that standard soda bottles started out at 6.5 ounces. In the 1950s, soda makers introduced larger sizes, including the 12-ounce can, which became widely available in 1960. By the early 1990s, 20-ounce plastic bottles became the norm, and today, contour-shaped plastic bottles are available in even larger sizes, such as 1-liter.
Fill Your Plate with Good Foods
In summer, there are always plenty of options to eat right. Melons are a great addition to a healthy diet. Watermelon is great for the liver, and honeydew helps to reduce high blood pressure.
Summertime is also when you can consume as much salad as you want; just be mindful of the dressing. Cucumbers and tomatoes specifically help to quench your thirst and beat the heat. These veggies also promote weight loss by adding high fiber content and promoting satiety.
Cut Down (or Out) Alcohol
If you’ve been good about refusing sweets in the summer but can’t give up cold beer or wine, you may be adding more weight than you think. Alcohol contributes a lot to your daily calorie count. In fact, adults can exceed their daily dose of sugar by consuming just two glasses of wine. A pint of beer has as many calories as a Snickers bar, and white wine equates to the same calories as an ice cream cone.
People already know alcohol can be bad for you but often don’t think of it in terms of calories. You can put on weight faster with just a few glasses of wine, than scarfing down a sundae every day. Now THAT is putting things into perspective!
If you’re really trying to lose weight during the summer, your best bet is to avoid alcohol altogether. It may be hard, but you’ll have a healthier body and a clearer mind to make better decisions.
Don’t Forget to Hydrate
It needs to be said sometimes. In our weight loss journey, we often forget adequate water intake. However, we lose more water from sweat during the summer months than any other time of year.
Summer is when we should be drinking the most water! Especially if you want to lose weight. If your body is dehydrated, it will hold onto things. This includes fat. You may also feel hungrier when you’re thirsty. Drinking water helps give your body satiety, so you’re not apt to take in extra calories you don’t need.
Get More Sleep
If you already like to sleep, then here’s a summer weight loss tip you can get in bed with! A recent sleep study found that going to bed just 75 minutes earlier each night helps you consume 270 fewer calories each day. That’s the equivalent of three cookies or a soda.
When you are sleep deprived, the body produces more ghrelin. This is the hormone that says you’re hungry. You also tend to produce less leptin, the hormone that says you are full. The science is right there, so get cozy and don’t jump out of bed so early or stay up too late during the summer.
Slow Down Your Eating
This is called eating mindfully, and it really works for weight loss. If you’re reading this while snacking, put down the fork! Mindful eating gives your body time to release the hormones that make you feel full. This requires a deeper concentration on the task at hand.
The faster you eat, the more likely you will overeat because your body hasn’t had time to process the fact you are consuming food. It hasn’t had time to release and filter the necessary hormones as a response.
Keep a Food Journal
No matter what time of year, journaling what you eat is a highly effective way to lose weight. Why? It makes us accountable and aware of what is going into our bodies. Logging food, either in a hand-written journal or through a smart app, leads to a greater understanding of the impact nutritional choices have on your weight loss program.
If you feel you might forget to write things down, then an app with notifications is your best bet. It can alert you during mealtimes and automatically calculate your deficits at the end of the day. This motivates people to get out and take an evening walk or go for a spin on the treadmill if they’ve eaten too many calories at mealtimes.
Summing it Up
So what have we learned? Losing weight during the summer can be tough, but it can also present more opportunities than other seasons. Especially when it comes to activities and food. Think about it. You can’t swim as much during the winter (at least not outside), so that’s one high-calorie-burning exercise that’s prevalent during the summer months.
Summertime also gives us the most fresh fruits and vegetables than any other time of year, so why not take advantage? Stock up on melons and vegetables high in fiber. Avoid sugary drinks and opt for water. Your body will thank you. Most importantly, no matter what time of year, weight loss ultimately comes down to making good choices…Every. Single. Day. The more positive choices you make during your weight loss journey, the more it will pay off. You won’t be sighing anymore when you think of that summer body.