Summer. It’s hot, and that means less clothing. For those of us who’ve gained some weight over the winter, it can be hard to get it off. Though the summer may be nearing its end, there is still time to lose as much as ten pounds. It’s not too late to start your summer weight loss diet plan.
Safe weight loss diet plans have you losing 1-2 pounds a week.
The goal is to restrict your calories just enough so you can lose weight. Cut too many calories, however, and it can actually have the opposite effect. It slows your metabolism which prevents your body from burning fat. Exercise is also an important part of the weight loss equation. In summer, weight loss can occur even quicker with the addition of exercise.
Summer is the ideal time to lose weight. Markets are stuffed with a bounty of fresh, local produce. The weather is hot so our urge to eat thick, heavy foods is nearly non-existent. Plus, the warmth encourages outdoor exercising and since the sun sets late, there’s plenty of time to squeeze in a workout.
Here is some advice specifically tailored to summer weight loss plan:
Drink plenty of water. In the hot months, it is easy to get dehydrated. One of the problems with dehydration is that it can undermine any summer weight loss attempts by slowing your metabolism. Drink water even if you aren’t thirsty. And, if you are exercising outside, you may want to consider hydrating with a sports drink which will also replace lost electrolytes.
Eat Salads. Salads are a great summer food and help a lot with summer weight loss. Add a little meat and serve with whole wheat bread or whole wheat croutons and you have a complete meal. Plus, with all that fresh produce, they are extra tasty at this time of year.
But, be careful. Salads are a hidden fat trap. Steer clear of high-fat dressings and make sure you don’t eat too much bread. To keep a salad low fat you need to make sure and eat low-fat dressings or vinaigrettes and keep the bread portion fairly small. Also, make sure you keep your meat portion down to about three ounces.
Smoothies. Smoothies are another good way to fill up on fresh produce. Bananas, fruits, strawberries, blueberries, melons, and kiwis all work well when included in a smoothie. Here is a basic recipe- you can add ingredients according to your personal tastes.
Basic Smoothie Recipe
- 1 c. fresh or frozen fruit
- 1 c. a liquid such as fruit juice, milk, or soy milk
- 1 scoop protein powder
- 1 t. honey or sugar, optional
- 5-8 ice cups
Add ingredients in the order listed into a blender and pulse until well blended. If your blender isn’t that powerful, add all the ingredients except the ice cubes. Then once the fruit, liquid, protein powder, and sweetener are all well blended, drop the ice cubes in one at a time until well combined.
Exercise. It is essential to exercise because it helps get you in shape and burns calories. Try running, swimming, rowing, etc. The basic idea is to find something that you enjoy so you’ll stick with it. If you decide to exercise outside make sure you drink plenty of sports drink if it’s hot. Or better yet, exercise in the early morning when the air is coolest.