If the last year of quarantine has left you with a few extra pounds that you are hoping to shed, we’ve got good news. Losing weight can often be a little easier in the summer months. Feeling less hungry in the dog days of summer is common, with most people reporting a decreased appetite. While there is science behind why this occurs, mostly having to do with the body’s ability to regulate its temperature, it translates into consuming an average of 200-300 fewer calories each day. This can add up over the summer months, equating to some substantial weight loss. Other benefits to summertime weather that can help you along the way include the ability to get outdoors and access to a variety of fresh foods. So, don’t wait any longer – try some of these summertime tricks and tips to kick start your weight loss today! Even if you don’t have extra pounds to shed, everyone can benefit from these healthy tips:
- Stay Hydrated—While water isn’t a magical potion that will melt away the pounds, increasing your intake especially before meals can help you feel fuller which can translate into eating less. Consuming fewer calories over time will equal weight loss. In one study, this translated to about 44% more weight loss over 12 weeks. If you struggle with drinking water because you feel like it gets too boring, summertime is the easiest time to spice things up. There are all sorts of options over the summer to flavor your water. Start with filtered water and ice in a pitcher, you can keep it simple by adding slices of fresh lemon and lime. Allow about an hour for the flavors to infuse into the water before drinking. With most fruits and herbs, you can refill the pitcher at least once, but you may need to let it infuse a little longer the second time to get the full flavor. You can get more creative by adding fresh herbs such as mint with citrus fruits. Or you can try different blends such as strawberry, blueberry and mint, melon and mint, lavender and lime, or grapefruit and rosemary. If you like things a little spicy try ginger with lemon and basil for a zestier infusion. Drink up!
- Healthy Veggies —Summer squash, zucchini, broccoli, cauliflower, tomatoes, and peppers are all bursting from the garden right now. Don’t have a garden? Try the local farmer’s market or pick them up at the organic section in the grocery store. You can also look for a local CSA (community supported agriculture) where you can schedule a delivery or pick up of produce sourced from local farmers. This is a great opportunity to support local farmers and try a variety of fresh local produce that is in season. Slice and dice veggies and throw them together in an easy foil pack. Need more flavor? Add seasonings from the spice rack or freshly cut herbs, such as rosemary and thyme, and some healthy fats, such as olive or coconut oil or a balsamic vinaigrette dressing to the foil pack. Just wrap it tightly and throw them on the grill with your choice of protein for a perfect summer evening meal. The best part is the clean-up is super easy, allowing you more time for summertime fun!
- Smoothies—Too hot to eat? Consider a healthy protein-packed smoothie instead. We recommend a grass-fed whey protein powder, but if you prefer a plant-based product, organic pea protein powder is an option as well. Add unsweetened coconut or almond milk, frozen blueberries, strawberries, fresh spinach or kale for extra fiber, and blend in a bullet style blender for a delicious frozen treat. This is a great meal replacement, but to be honest it almost tastes like a fabulous frozen dessert!
- Get Moving– Summer offers the best opportunity to get out and get active. Think vacation is all about a little rest and relaxation? How about adding in a little activity to keep your metabolism going. Trying to beat the heat? Wait until after dinner or go early in the morning for a walk. This is a great way to boost your energy throughout the day or to wind down at the end of the day. How about adding biking or hiking to your vacation itinerary? Planning a trip to the beach? Add a tour of a lighthouse – all those stairs are sure to burn a few extra calories. Swimming, kayaking, and paddle boarding are other ways to enjoy fun in the sun while keeping it cool. Visiting a new place? Book a walking tour to see the sights. If it’s too hot outside, try an indoor activity such as a Yoga or Pilates class. Not on vacation yet? Consider parking a little farther from your work to get in a few steps before and after work and use breaks at work to take a 10–15-minute walk. You don’t have to do all your exercise at once, breaking it up into smaller blocks of time throughout the day is fine, just try to keep moving.