Who says you can’t lose weight during the hot summer months? It is possible, but you have make good choices and be mindful of what, when and how you’re consuming your calories. Here are five tips to get you started on successful summer weight loss:
- Turn Off Screens While Eating – Multitasking while you eat means you won’t be as satisfied, according to a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Some of the study’s participants ate while playing computer solitaire, while others ate without distraction. The results? The game-players were worse at remembering what they had eaten—and felt significantly hungrier afterward.
- Spice Things Up – Capsaicin, the compound that gives chili peppers their heat, speeds metabolism, according to a recent study at UCLA. Participants received either placebo pills or flavorless capsaicin supplements daily for four weeks. The supplement group burned more fat for several hours after a meal, and they burned about 100 to 200 more calories per day. Spicy foods may also trigger a feeling of fullness sooner than bland foods.
- Sleep Well – In another recent study, ten overweight volunteers went on a diet while sleeping 8.5 hours a night for two weeks and just 5.5 hours per night for another couple of weeks. (During the day, their diet and activity levels were exactly the same.) In both cases, the average weight loss was 6.5 pounds, but when the group slept less, they lost less fat and felt hungrier.
- Watch What You Drink – At the end of a hot day, it’s easy to chug a couple of frozen margaritas or chilled sangrias just to stay cool. By doing so, you’re packing on hundreds of extra calories. If you want a cocktail, instead try tequila and seltzer on the rocks. When a drink doesn’t taste like a Slurpee, you are more likely to sip slowly and take in far fewer calories.
- Make a Weekly Meal Plan – Thinking through exactly what and when you’re going to eat your meals can make you more likely to stick to your diet goals. In a study designed to encourage healthy eating, all of the participants ate more fruit for a week, but those who made a concrete plan, wrote it down, and visualized how they were going to carry out the action—when, where, and how they would buy, prepare, and eat fruit—ate twice as much fruit as those who simply tried harder.