For millions of Americans, summer is weight loss season.
After all, everyone wants to look their best for the beach!
But dieters beware — quick-fix weight loss programs are not the answer.
When it comes down to it, most “diets” ultimately fail.
After a few months of strict food restrictions, those winter pounds come creeping back.
Luckily, this post is full of summer weight loss tips to help you lose weight, and most importantly, keep it off.
Why “Dieting” Usually Doesn’t Work
Although weight loss is easy in theory, it’s hard in practice.
Ultimately, weight loss isn’t as simple as cutting calories and exercising.
That’s because the relationship between your brain, hormones, and weight loss is incredibly complex.
Here are just a few reasons why weight loss is so darn tricky:
1. Your Body Has a Built-in Response that Makes Weight Loss Hard
When you suddenly eat way less, your body can go into starvation mode.
Basically, the body freaks out because it doesn’t know when more food will be available.
In response, the body stops burning energy and starts conserving it by slowing your basal metabolic rate.
As a result, you burn fewer calories.
This is great if you’re a caveman hunting for your next meal.
However, it’s terrible if you’re trying to fit into your summer bathing suit!
2. Your Body Doesn’t Want to Lose Weight
Everybody (and every body) has a “set point.”
Your set point is a genetic predisposition to be a certain weight.
Think of it like an internal weight thermostat that’s set to say, 160 lbs.
If you try to lose weight by eating less, it will try to set itself back to 160.
The good news is that with the right diet, exercise, and lifestyle habits, you can reset your thermostat and hit your target weight.
However, trying to do this by cutting calories alone is a losing battle.
That’s because your hormones will always fight to maintain your natural set point.
3. Your Brain Knows When You’re Dieting
When you suddenly eat less, the brain receives signals from hunger hormones saying, “Hey, we’re running out of food!”
Before you know it, food cravings spiral out of control.
Usually, these hormone signals begin once you drop below 4 to 5 percent of your original body weight. That’s why it can be so frustrating to lose more than that! (1)
Luckily, with the right summer weight loss tips, you can help your body stop working against you, and start working for you.
Summer Weight Loss Tips to Lose Weight & Keep It Off
In order to lose weight and keep it off, you need to take a holistic approach.
Although cutting calories can be good in moderation, you have to balance it with healthier lifestyle choices.
After all, painful fitness routines and harsh calorie cuts are too brutal to keep up year-round.
Here are a few quick summer weight loss tips to help you shed those pounds for good:
- High-fiber foods, like broccoli
- Water-rich foods, like low-sugar fruits and veggies
- High-fat Mediterranean diet, full of wild-caught fish, extra virgin olive oil, and nuts
- Deep restful sleep (at least six hours a night)
- Meditation and stress reduction
- Regular exercise (just don’t burn yourself out)
- Probiotics for healthy gut bacteria
If you stick to it, this long-term lifestyle approach can beat the pants off short-term diets!
Next, let’s take a closer look at some more tasty summer weight loss tips:
11 Nutritious Summer Weight Loss Tips
1. Drink More Water
Did you know that hydration is super important for weight loss?
In fact, studies show that drinking a glass of water before meals can help you lose weight faster by reducing hunger. (2)
Do you find plain water too bland? Then flavor it up with a squirt of lemon juice!
Not only do lemons taste delicious, but the vitamin C fights free radicals and boosts immunity.
2. Say “No” to Soda & Alcohol
For a lot of Americans, summer is synonymous with sweet drinks and alcohol.
Unfortunately, both are terrible for weight loss.
Diet sodas aren’t much better, as studies show they can increase belly fat. (3)
When it comes to alcohol, beer is especially bad because it contains a lot of carbs.
Worst of all, both sugary drinks and alcohol are terrible for inflammation.
3. Ditch the Carbs and Sugar
Carbs and sugar are stored as fat and increase food cravings.
A low-carb diet, on the other hand, has been shown to reduce total body mass. (4)
Think that only refined carbs are bad?
Studies also link regularly eating potatoes to obesity. (5)
4. Fill Up On Fibrous Foods
Fiber-rich foods slow digestion and help you feel full faster.
Most importantly, studies show that a high-fiber diet promotes weight loss more than a low-fiber diet. (6)
Some of the most fibrous foods are:
5. Take Probiotics
Probiotics promote healthy gut bacteria and reduce food cravings.
In fact, recent research shows that “Probiotic supplementation appears to change gut microbiota by decreasing gut permeability, inflammation, and metabolic disorders, and creating a promising environment for weight loss.” (7)
6. Fewer Bagels, More Eggs!
A study in the International Journal of Obesity found that eating eggs for breakfast instead of a bagel can increase weight loss. (8)
Bagels are full of carbs that get stored as fat.
Eggs, on the other hand, contain healthy fats despite their reputation for promoting bad cholesterol. However, as long as you eat only three eggs a day, you shouldn’t have anything to worry about.
7. Swap Ice Cream for Frozen Berries & Almond Butter
Ice cream can be so tempting on hot summer days.
The problem, though, is that it’s loaded with sugar. Popsicles are in the same boat.
Instead, swap your popsicles and ice cream for a bowl of almond butter and frozen berries.
You’ll be shocked at how creamy, delicious, and ice-cream-like it is!
8. Spice Up Your Life with Ginger and Turmeric
Believe it or not, adding a little ginger and turmeric to your meals may promote weight loss.
Studies show that ginger has positive effects on insulin resistance and obesity. (9)
At the same time, turmeric and black pepper have obesity-fighting properties of their own.
As a cherry on top, they have potent anti-inflammatory properties to boot.
9. Extra Virgin, Cold-pressed Oils
A little fat can go a long way towards shedding unwanted body fat.
Wait… eating fat can help me lose fat?
Although it might sound counterintuitive, fat doesn’t get stored as fat (carbs and sugar do).
Instead, healthy fats like olive and coconut oil are excellent sources of slow-burning fuel.
You might also want to try MCT oil, which is made from coconut and palm oil.
In fact, one recent study found that MCT oil is even better for weight loss than olive oil. (10)
10. Avocados Are Your New Superfood
Avocados are another excellent source of healthy fat, especially when it comes to weight loss.
In one 2017 study, eating avocados was linked to lower body mass index (BMI) and smaller waist circumference. (11)
11. There’s Nothing Fishy about Omega-3s & Weight Loss
The omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil may help you lose weight.
For some individuals, fish oil supplements reduce hunger and appetite.
At the same time, it can speed up your metabolism and burn more fat during exercise.
For example, one study found that women who took 3 grams of fish oil per day for 12 weeks burned 19-27% more fat when they exercised. (12)
9 Lifestyle Tips for Summer Weight Loss
1. Boost Your Vitamin D
Summertime is the perfect time to load up on vitamin D!
Vitamin D is actually a hormone that the body makes when sunlight touches the skin.
As it turns out, people with vitamin D deficiency can lose weight more easily by boosting vitamin D levels in their blood.
At the same time, research shows that fat cells store less fat when exposed to sunlight. (13)
Make sure to get at least 20 minutes of direct sunlight a day. Just make sure to wear sunscreen!
2. Get the Right Amount of Sleep
Sleep is when the body balances hormones and repairs damaged cells.
Poor sleep, on the other hand, can increase food cravings, disrupt metabolism, and make it harder to lose weight.
In fact, one recent study found that people who sleep less than five hours a night gained an average of 2.5 pounds more than people who slept at least seven hours. (14)
3. Early to Bed, Early to Rise, Early to Lose Weight
Burning the midnight oil isn’t good for weight loss, and neither is sleeping in.
Research from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine found that later bedtimes increase the risk of weight gain. (15)
On a similar note, people who sleep in too late tend to eat more calories than folks who get up early.
Instead, go to bed early and wake up early.
4. Keep Your Bedroom Cool
Nothing helps you hit the hay like a cool bedroom on a hot summer night.
As it turns out, sleeping chilly may promote weight loss by boosting metabolism.
In fact, one study found that setting the thermostat to 66 degrees for 10 hours a night increased metabolic activity by 10%. (16)
Tell your weight to chill! How’s that for a “cool” summer weight loss tip?
5. Turn Off the T.V.
Too much screen time is bad for weight loss for a few reasons:
For starters, when you’re watching shows all day you certainly aren’t exercising.
And come nighttime, the blue light from screens can disrupt melatonin production and makes it hard to sleep.
But that’s not all…
One study found that watching T.V. for more than two hours a day is linked to increased consumption of processed fats and sugars. (17)
In other words, the more you watch, the more likely you are to eat junk food.
6. Meditation for Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
You probably didn’t expect meditation to make our list of summer weight loss tips, huh?
Although you won’t burn fat while you meditate, it does set you up for success.
In fact, studies show that mindful meditation can help people lose weight and keep it off over time.
First off, meditation reduces stress and discourages impulsive eating habits.
If you’re eating right and exercising but still aren’t losing weight, stress could be to blame.
For example, one study linked the stress hormone cortisol to obesity and increased waist size. (18)
7. Weight Training for Weight Loss
Weight lifting can help you slim down by boosting your metabolism.
At the same time, it balances your fat loss with lean muscle mass.
Although gaining muscle might slow your weight loss results at first, those extra muscle cells will support healthy glucose control.
Over time, this builds a leaner body composition.
8. Workout with a Friend
People who have an emotionally supportive workout partner tend to exercise more often.
According to a study published in the British Journal of Health Psychology, “Emotional support, in turn, promotes exercise by enabling better self-regulation, in particular self-efficacy.” (19)
Makes sense — after all, friends make everything more fun!
9. Wear Comfy Gym Clothes Around the House
Gym shorts and leggings aren’t just great for working out, they’re also super comfy!
The best part, though, is that you’ll already be dressed to squeeze in a quick workout.
Believe it or not, if you’re already dressed for the occasion, you’ll be more likely to hit the gym.
In fact, studies show that the clothing we wear has a significant impact on what we choose to do in those clothes. (20)
If you have any more questions about summer weight loss tips, feel free to reach out to us at Complete Care Health Centers.
We’re happy to answer any questions you may have.