Tips & Tricks to Stay Healthy All Summer Long

You probably are thinking...

It's so hard to lose weight over the summer because...

a. There are just too many summer get togethers

b. I cannot follow a diet over the summer because there's always food involved

c. I just drink too much alcohol in the summer

d. Every boat ride or summer event includes drinking alcohol

e. I don't want to spend all day in a gym when it's nice outside

Despite all the lounging and occasional overindulgence in umbrella drinks, summer may be the time of year you find it easiest to achieve your weight-loss goals. Here's why….

Nice weather encourages you to be active.

Data consistently show that exercise tends to be seasonal—Americans are generally most active in the spring and summer and tend to slack come fall and winter. So take advantage of the pleasant weather, and forego the gym for outdoor walks on occasion.

You may be less prone to bad-mood binges.

Wintertime is dark and dreary—and for some people, that means it's the season of depression.

In a new University of Pittsburgh study of people with winter seasonal affective disorder, 27 percent reported binge eating during the most depressing months of the year. And of these overeaters, 94 percent said they isolate themselves during the winter and 90 percent said they crave carbs more than normal when it’s cold outside.

Hot weather may help suppress your appetite.

Yes, ice cream is the unofficial food of summer—but overall, you may find that you're less prone to pantry raids in the warmer months.

Why? The heat may tamp down your appetite.

Case in point: In a recent study, people who worked out in a hot environment (86° F) ate less afterward than those who exercised in a cooler setting (50° F). This suggests that sweltering temperatures may, in fact, reduce your desire to eat—even after you've done a tough workout

Other Tips and Tricks to Help You This Summer

Swap juice for a juice spritzer

  • Combine your favorite juice (half of your usual amount) with plain or sparkling water. You can cut up to 85 calories per glass—and lose 5 pounds or more a year.

Pay cash for treats

  • Anytime someone offers you goodies (like that coworker with a serious baking habit)—and you accept—put $2 aside. Then give the money to your kids or a friend. When you literally pay for treats, you're more likely to say "No, thanks.”

Trick your tastebuds

  • Sucking on a menthol cough drop can stop cravings instantly, helping you cut back on excess calories.

Stick with soup

  • Soup is a great appetite suppressant because it consists of a hunger-busting combination of liquids and solids; eat it before a meal and you can lower your overall calorie intake by up to 20% compared to a meal without soup. Alternatively, swap your daily lunchtime sandwich for a veg-based soup. You’ll lower your carb and calorie intake while increasing your vegetable quota.

Eat Outdoors

  • Research shows that people who eat in dim light linger over their food more, and that can lead to overeating. Hello, picnics and summer barbecues. Just be sure to keep nutrition in mind when you dine al fresco by doubling up on veggies instead of starchy sides. Remember that chicken and seafood can be just as yummy on the grill as a burger or a hot dog. Another benefit to eating outside? Include a summer activity after your meal. Catch, anyone?

Spray—don't drizzle

  • Use an olive oil sprayer to add flavor to salads, chicken, pasta, or fish – without all the calories. A 2-second spray evenly distributes about ½ teaspoon of oil, compared to the 2 or 3 teaspoons you might get when pouring. That will save you up to 100 calories per use

Buy small

  • The bigger the package, the more you're likely to eat—up to 44 percent more, according to one study. Look for portion controlled snacks or divide food up into smaller snack bags before digging in.

Add sprint intervals

  • If you typically jog (or bike or row) at a steady pace, add a few 30 or 60-second sprint intervals to your routine. These bouts of exertion allow you to cover more distance and burn more fat and calories—without lengthening your workout. The increased impact will also help make your bones stronger.

Listen to all our our tips on our Limitlyss Wellness Podcast.

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