You would think that because summer is the time to sport our swimsuits and let down our inhibitions with shorts and tank tops that it would be easy to lose weight and have enough willpower and motivation to watch what we eat, and better yet, maintain our waistline.
Not to mention, it’s warm outside, we tend to be outdoors a lot more than we are in winter and it just seems like we’re more active at this time of year. So once again, why is it so hard to lose weight in the summer? Why do so many of us find ourselves needing to trim down a bit once autumn arrives? Aren’t we more naturally likely to gain weight when it’s cold?
Even though I myself am a leading Fitness Guru and know exactly what I need to do to lose weight, build muscle or simply maintain my body weight, I have found over the years that summer is an extremely hard time to shed pounds.
Furthermore, working with so many clients over the years and seeing the statistics of them has proven that I am not alone and that for many, summertime is an extremely difficult time to beat the bulge. Aside from January and the New Year, September is my busiest time with new clients.
Lack of Routine Doesn’t Help
One of the reasons it’s hard to lose weight in some circumstances is because a routine is essential when it comes to dropping pounds. I personally find the summer months difficult because my schedule is completely off. I work on my own and don’t have to report in anywhere. The kids are not in school, sleeping schedules are non existent for everyone, there simply is NO schedule. Kids are going in every direction beating to their own drums and family dinnertime is not a thing.
I also travel a lot in the summer which means many meals are eaten out and unplanned. Unplanned meals and restaurants means much more fat then I would normally incorporate into my meals.
It also means a cocktail or a glass of wine which not only adds calories but sometimes leads to poorer decisions at the table as inhibitions are down.
It also means I’m away from the gym, not adhering to my normal workout routine, and cannot always get a workout in altogether.
When you combine all of these things together it adds up to less movement and less control over my food choices which in turn leads to a caloric increase which yes, leads to weight gain.
Summer Cuisine Is Tasty, But a Challenge
What’s more fun – and tastier – than firing up the grill on a gorgeous day, pouring a cold drink and grilling some burgers, steaks or something else from the butcher shop for dinner? We sit inside all winter waiting for this opportunity, after all, and it’s something we should enjoy. However, it’s also one of the reasons that it’s hard to lose weight in the summer.
Summer is a time for many barbecues and fun times with family and friends. While there is nothing wrong with the occasional hotdog, cheeseburger and ice cream, eating them along with coleslaw, potato and macaroni salad more frequently does make the calories add up in a big way.
Keep in mind that weight gain and fat loss are cumulative. We don’t gain weight from one meal and we don’t get thin from a few days of eating clean and healthy and on point.
Summer is three months. If you overeat by 200 calories every day for a total of 18,000 calories over the course of the duration, it adds up to a total of 5 pounds. As you can see, it’s easy to go overboard as 200 calories is in one1 cocktail alone.
It’s Not a Huge Deal
Yes, it’s hard to lose weight in the summer for all of the reasons discussed above. Yes, we tend to feel guilty if we see the scale moving in the wrong direction, because we know, after all, that it’s hard to lose weight. That said, this isn’t something to stew over. It happens and we also know how to overcome these challenges. Mindset is of paramount importance when it’s time to burn off those barbecues and cold ones.
I know it’s easier said than done, but try not to beat yourself up over it. Summer is a time for relaxation for many. Kids are not in school, many family vacations are taken, and sitting on a beach or by a pool for endless hours doing nothing simply feels good! It’s a time when we take a step back from the hustle and bustle.
While I can assure you that it is not easy to lose weight over the summer, here are some useful tips to try and get through without packing on the pounds.
- Remember that initial weight gain and fat loss is usually water weight, so if you see the scale creeping up or the pants getting tighter, nip it in the bud before it gets out of hand.
- Try to drink a lot of water. Water does flush you out and cut the bloat. Seeing less bloat will make you feel better automatically and put you in a better frame of mind.
- Forgo the cocktails for a few days if you can. If you must, try to have just one and keep it lower calorie. Stay away from the mixers, fruit juices and the sugary frozen drinks. Try to stick to wine or a liquor mixed with club soda and lime.
- Incorporate a large salad with a colorful array of fresh vegetables along with a lean grilled protein such as chicken breast, shrimp or fish for at least one meal. Stay away from creamy and oily fattening dressings, bacon, croutons and ask for cheese on the side or omit it altogether.
- Load up on fresh vegetables, berries and whole grains. These types of foods have fiber in them which will keep you fulller longer feeling more satisfied. When you eat well you feel better.
- Try to exercise earlier in the day if you can. You are more likely to eat better and make wiser decisions for the duration of the day as it puts you in a better, more healthy, frame of mind.
- Focus on filling up on lean protein at each meal. Protein is very satisfying, keeps you full and preserves muscle mass. Some examples of lean protein (protein with little fat) are egg whites, grilled chicken, shrimp, fish, 93% lean beef, cottage cheese, tuna fish and Greek yogurt. You can also supplement with a delicious protein shake. Another reason to load up on protein during the day is it will allow you to splurge a bit on carbs and fat later on in the day.
- Go outside, take a walk, and enjoy the nature around you. Keep moving. You’ll feel better mentally and burn some calories while doing so.
There is a common saying that summer bodies are made in the winter. While the thought comes from not rushing the weight loss, that slow and steady truly wins the race, the reality is that fat loss should eventually become a lifestyle for you to succeed at it. You need to work on being healthy and fit each day upon waking. It is then that you’ll see that a few days off will not deter progress and that if you can maintain your physique instead of trying to change it, harder times like summer will become a bit easier.
My best advice is to learn about flexible dieting. Budgeting your macros – your proteins, fats and carbs – allows you to eat anything you wish as long as it fits into your daily budget. You’ll need to weigh and log your food initially to educate yourself on the value of each food, but overtime you’ll learn what your “sweet spot” of calories is and be able to eat intuitively for whatever goal you have in mind. And that, is what turns a diet into a lifestyle, in which you’ll be able to know how to properly feed your body long term all the while eating foods you enjoy, whether it is summertime or any other season. Grab your own customized nutrition plan and 12 week muscle building workout at https://pancakesandpushups.com/kickstarter-plans/.