There are several advantages to losing weight during the summer months – and a few pitfalls to watch out for. With these summer weight loss ideas you’ll be able to stick to your goals and slim down before the fall rolls around:
Get More Exercise
Summer gives you the opportunity to stay out longer and have more time for physical activity outdoors. Take a walk after dinner or ride bikes around your neighborhood. Unlike during the fall and winter there are a few hours between dinner and nightfall – so take advantage of them!
Another way to work in exercise is to bike or walk to your destinations. If you’re just headed down the street, don’t take your car. Take advantage of the summer weather and walk there instead. Taking a stroll to the corner store or visiting a local park on your bike combines exercise with a fun outing.
You can also use the summer heat to try out water aerobics or swimming laps. Working out in water is low impact and will keep you cool at the same time.
Along with the longer days, the summer months also bring a greater risk for dehydration. Even if you’re not working outside or doing heavy labor, you’re sweating more during the summer. Dehydration can make you feel hungry even if you’re not – and reaching for a snack instead of a drink can pack on the pounds. Be sure you’re getting the minimum of eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day to avoid dehydration. If you’re working outdoors or exercising in the heat, try a sports drink that will not only hydrate you, but that will also replace essential minerals that you lose through sweat.
Plan Ahead for Better Health
The foods you select during the summer months can have a big impact on your weight loss capabilities. Even though there’s a relaxed atmosphere to June, July and August, you shouldn’t take a break from planning your meals. Meal planning can help you avoid fast food and high calorie treats. Summer time is perfect for trying out new recipes and experimenting with new favors. Try these low-calorie, high-flavor ideas on for size:
- Grilled vegetable skewers with cold rice pilaf salad
- Gazpacho made with organic tomatoes
- Fresh berries with cream
When you do your meal planning, don’t forget breakfast! Eating a meal in the morning has been clinically proven to help curb cravings and help you eat less. Try those fresh summer berries in a smoothie or over your favorite cereal.
Eat from Summer’s Bounty
One of the best parts of summer is shopping for fresh fruits and vegetables at the farmer’s market. Stone fruit like peaches, nectarines and plums are in season, as well as berries. Several varieties of vegetables peak during the summer months too. Find ways to incorporate fresh bell peppers, squash and green beans into your diet.
Chili peppers are in season too – and there’s a special reason to add them to your diet if you’re trying to lose weight. According to UCLA’s Center for Human Nutrition, a compound in chili peppers called capsaicin can speed up metabolism. Study participants burned 100 to 200 more calories per day when they took capsaicin supplements. Try chili peppers in your favorite salads or with grilled lean meats.
Getting a good night’s sleep is good for your health all year round. Don’t let the hot summer months keep you from getting your rest. In a study from the Kaiser Permanent Center for Health Research, participants lost more fat and felt less hungry when they slept for 8.5 hours per night versus 5.5 hours per night. If you feel like it’s too hot to sleep, try taking a lukewarm bath or shower about an hour before bed to help you cool down.
Summer can be your best weight loss season ever! With these tips, you can become more fit, lose weight and try out some great new recipes at the same time.