Summer is officially here and most of us aren’t as motivated to tackle our weight loss goals as we were when we made our New Year’s resolutions. If summer snuck up on you this year and you haven’t achieved your weight loss goals, don’t get discouraged. There’s still time to shed a few extra pounds, but you must do it the smart way.
There’s no need to beat yourself up over the empty calories you consumed all spring or the fact that you skipped the gym. Instead of jumping into a fast or designing an intense workout regimen, simply incorporate the four s’s of smart summer weight loss into your daily routine.
- Stay Hydrated – Hydration is the key to weight loss success, but it’s especially important in summer. As temperatures rise, your body naturally sweats more to cool down, which can lead to dehydration. When you exercise, you sweat out even more water and electrolytes. Staying hydrated can also help you feel full and avoid junk food cravings. Eat plenty of water-filled fruits and vegetables such as watermelon, cantaloupe, zucchini, and cucumber.
- Smoothies – Smoothies can be a great weight loss tool because you control the ingredients. By replacing one meal a day with a smoothie, you can get all the nutrients you need in one glass without adding excess or empty calories. By adding some protein, it will keep you feeling full for a longer time, so you’re less likely to snack.
- Summer Swaps – Summer is the season for barbecues, pool parties, and indulgent food. Luckily, there are some simple swaps you can make to enjoy your summer without the extra calories. Swap sugary soda and lemonade for healthier options like sparkling water and 100% fruit juice. Swap unhealthy hot dogs, steaks, and chips for grilled vegetables, fish, and fruit platters.
- Sleep – In a recent study, 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 the same. In both cases, the average weight loss was 6.5 pounds, but when the group slept less, they lost less fat (1.3 pounds versus 3 pounds) and felt hungrier. When you’re trying to lose weight, it is important to prioritize sleep.