Sometimes winter isn’t the only season you need to worry about gaining weight. Summer barbeques, picnics, and gatherings typically have lots of irresistible food. Add a vacation where you break your normal diet and exercise routine into the mix and summer becomes a season where the pounds can add up quickly. Luckily, there are five easy things you can do to help keep your weight in check this summer.
1 - Stay hydrated
Summer is hot. There’s no way of getting around it. Regardless of where of where you live, the chances of becoming dehydrated increase in the summer. While most people know of the immediate health consequences that can occur due to dehydration (passing out, headaches, nausea), the association between dehydration and weight gain is often times not as well known. Specifically, the strong correlation between dehydration and a binge eating episode.
A binge eating episode occurs when you eat a large quantity of food over a short period of time. The number one trigger for binge eating is dehydration. Depleting your body of the fluids it needs leads to your body going into starvation mode. When you sit down to eat, your brain will tell your body to devour as much as possible and a binge eating episode that can’t be stopped will begin.
Some specifics rules of thumb to help you stay hydrated and avoid binge eating include the following:
- Drink at least 2 liters of water every day
- Drink sports drinks with electrolytes when you are outside for an extended period of time
- Avoid excessively drinking beverages with caffeine, alcohol, and sugar
Because dehydration can occur quickly, it's recommended that you drink water even when you're not very thirsty. This will help keep your hydration levels steady throughout the day.
2 - Develop an exercise routine
It’s perfectly normal to not like exercising in the heat. Only an exercise routine that you enjoy doing and fits into your schedule will be one that you’ll be able to stick to. Great ways to beat the heat when exercising include the following:
- Lifting weights
- Playing indoor basketball or volleyball
- Indoor exercise classes
If you have the money, joining a gym is a great idea. Modern gyms are great at accommodating all types of people and making exercise exciting and fun.
3 - Only eat once when you’re at a party
Summer parties typically have tons of unhealthy snack foods like chips, dips, cookies, and candies. If you’re at a party, you obviously want to enjoy yourself and eat some of these foods. To enjoy these foods without gaining weight, avoid consistent snacking. Fix yourself one moderately sized plate of food and sit down and eat it.
4 - Bring snacks with you when you go on a trip
Going on a trip without snacks makes picking up junk food at a gas station or fast food restaurant super easy. Packing healthy snacks like fruits, nuts, sandwiches, and protein bars will help keep you full. The urge to grab junk food will go away and you won’t have to worry about gaining weight because of your trip.
5 - Limit the amount alcohol you drink
In the summer, cold alcoholic beverages like beer, daiquiris, and wine coolers can help you temporarily cool down and feel relaxed. Unfortunately, they can also cause dehydration and weight gain. All alcoholic beverages have empty calories that offer no nutritional benefits. Drinking one or two beverages every week or so may add a few hundred calories to daily caloric intake, which shouldn’t cause you to gain weight. Drinking beverages in excess will cause your intake to go up and eventually lead to weight gain.
A holistic approach to fight summer weight gain is necessary. Use the information in this post to help you make easy changes that will keep you looking and feeling great. If you have any questions or would like to speak to one of our experts, please feel free to contact our office.