Summertime parties, getting ready for the beach – you obviously want to be in top shape for the hot months. Even if you haven’t managed to get rid of the pounds already, there are several effective things you can do right now and continue in the months to come. What are the most effective summer weight loss hacks? Let’s find out together.
Get in the Habit of Drinking Water
Liquid calories can quickly add up. Even if you believe that you’re consuming something healthy, chances are that it’s still rich in sugar and it has more calories than you anticipate. Orange juice is one example of such a beverage. Smoothies, iced tea, shakes – these are all summer favorites but they could be sabotaging your weight loss efforts. Instead of going for sweetened and calorie-dense summer drinks, you should opt for plain water. Not only is it calorie-free, but water is also essential for speeding up your metabolism. Drinking enough water can also help you feel full for longer periods of time and control cravings. Need to spice it up? Adding a lemon slice and some mint leaves will give your water a bit of freshness. You can also add cut-up fruit like watermelon or strawberries. You will be flavoring your water without adding a ton of calories to it. Another trick is to turn your water into a seltzer – all you need is a soda stream to make it happen!
Be Careful about Dressings and Condiments
Summer is the season of fresh veggies and salads. These are a wonderful choice if you’re trying to lose weight but salads can get tricky, depending on what you add to them. Just like juices, salad dressings can be filled with calories and fat you don’t want! Did you know that just two tablespoons of a store-bought ranch dressing can have up to 180 calories and 20 grams of fat plus 260 milligrams of sodium? Caesar dressing isn’t much better with its 180 calories, 18 grams of fat and 290 milligrams of sodium. Forget about the dressing in a bottle if you want to lose weight and more importantly if you want to be healthy this summer. There are much lighter, healthier and easier salad dressings you can quickly prepare at home. Lemon juice and olive oil and balsamic vinegar/olive oil are two classical choices that go well with many kinds of salad. Honey, oil, and mustard is also a got pick. You can replace mayonnaise with plain yogurt in dressing recipes to get something a bit creamier but still capable of promoting weight loss.
Sneak in a Bit of Exercise in Your Everyday Routine
Many people don’t exercise because they don’t like the fuss of going to the gym or a specialized class. The truth of the matter is, however, that exercise can be done in so many other fun ways. You don’t really need a gym membership to be fit. Summer is characterized by good weather, which means you can easily walk places instead of using the car or public transportation. Walking around to do daily errands can easily add up to 10,000 steps per day or even more. Go for a bike ride with the kids or try couples yoga with your partner. Skating, swimming, skateboarding, hiking, and jogging are all wonderful options to try in order to get moving more. And one final thing – forget about the elevator and use the stairs. This is a wonderful type of exercise that’s especially good for the heart (and your waistline!).
Stop Making It a Summer Program, Turn It in a Lifestyle
Weight loss programs fail because people perceive them as a temporary thing. You need to understand something very important – you’re not eating healthy foods and exercising to lose a bit of weight for the beach. You’re doing it to become healthier and more confident in the long run. You need to adopt a healthy mindset towards changing your lifestyle. Eat balanced meals that don’t impose severe restrictions. Eliminating one macronutrient (like protein, fat or carbss) or another doesn’t work. You will quickly succumb to cravings. Even if you don’t, you will experience the yo-yo effect once you go back to eating regular foods. You can’t just exercise over the course of one month and forget everything about moving your body in the beginning of September. Maintaining an optimal shape is a year-round endeavor.
Understand the fact that you need to give yourself a few relaxation days or a delicious treat every now and then. Restricting yourself and being too rigorous with a regimen will eventually lead to binge eating or other types of problematic behaviors. It’s much better to have a piece of chocolate every now and then than to live on apples and tea to eventually gorge on two whole cakes. If you don’t know how to handle the process on your own, enlist the help of a professional. Nutrition and exercise experts will work to understand your specific goal and to suggest a sustainable program that will help you get there at a healthy speed.
Becoming fitter and healthier this summer can be fun! If you’re feeling stressed out, hungry or over-exercised all of the time, you will probably give up on the program very fast. Be gentle to yourself and find the approach that makes you feel motivated and that can be sustained in the long run.