Many people relate seasonal weight gain with the winter months. With fewer hours of daylight and colder weather, it’s no surprise that people find themselves spending more time indoors and less time engaging in physical activities outdoors. But winter isn’t the only season that causes weight gain. Many people find that their clothes start to fit a little bit tighter during the summer months. As the bathing suit season approaches, there are simple steps you can take to avoid the top 7 pitfalls that lead to summer weight gain.
Nothing signals the start of the summer like the familiar chime of the local ice cream truck. Once the warm weather arrives, people tend to become lax with their healthy eating habits. While we very well may stop at the farm stand on our way home from work to pick up some fresh local produce, there’s a very good chance that we will also flag down the soft-serve ice cream man who drives by the house every night. It’s not so much that we give up our intentions to eat healthy during the summer it’s just that we seem to be surrounded by sweet temptations everywhere we turn.
Head out to for a day of fun and sun at the beach and you’re likely to find yourself at the boardwalk food stand at least once. Spending an evening having a campfire with friends? Chances are someone will whip out the ingredients to make some s’mores. Whether you spend your time at a summer concert or a county fair, healthy food choices will be limited and you will likely find yourself smack dab in the land of cotton candy, funnel cakes, frozen lemonades and fried donuts.
Avoid this pitfall by eating a healthy meal at home before you go out. Indulge in summer treats here and there, but don’t make them your regular food of choice.
When summer rolls around, many people expand their alcoholic beverage list. While beer or wine may be perfectly acceptable during the rest of the year, it just isn’t summer if your drink of choice is not a piña colada or a frozen margarita. Fruity, sugar-filled cocktails abound during the summer months. Drinking just one can pack on an unbelievable 500 calories. Have two or three and you are consuming close to your total recommended calorie count for the day, without even a bite to eat.
If you find yourself in need of a cocktail while lounging poolside, try to forego the calorie bombs and instead opt for a lighter drink such as a white wine sangria made with fresh fruit. If you can’t bear to pass on a strawberry daiquiri, have just one; then make the switch to something lighter.
When taking a summer vacation, most people take steps to bring every item they may need with them, yet they generally leave their healthy eating habits at home. No matter where the destination, chances are there will be plenty of restaurants to choose from.
While it is perfectly okay to indulge here and there, it is important to try to maintain a relatively healthy diet while on vacation. Overindulgence can lead to weight gain in only a few days. Continue making healthy lifestyle choices while on vacation to counteract any extra calories you may consume, such as:
- Go for an after-dinner walk
- Utilize the fitness center in your hotel
- Spend some time swimming laps in the hotel pool
- Go for a long walk on the beach
Don’t make the mistake of using your vacation as an excuse to overindulge and fill up on unhealthy foods. Remember that you cannot take a vacation from your health, and straying too far from a healthy diet while traveling may very well leave you struggling to shrink your waistline when you return home. To learn more about preventing the extra pounds while vacationing, see 10 Tips To Avoid Vacation Weight Gain.
Lazy Days Of Summer
They don’t call them the lazy days of summer for nothing. Who doesn’t enjoy a good swing on a hammock while reading a book? Or an evening in the yard just lying on a blanket and staring up at the stars? People tend to be less active during the summer months. You can still enjoy your leisure time during the summer, as long as you continue to find the time to exercise regularly.
Most people ramp up their social life when the warm weather hits. With neighborhood pool parties, company picnics and backyard barbeques, many people find that their social calendar is booked every weekend, and some nights during the week too. Food is a main feature of these gatherings, and no matter what the occasion, chances are there will be no shortage of hearty dishes to choose from. But that doesn’t mean you have to forego your social life in order to maintain a healthy weight.
Go to the party and have a good time, but try to eat something healthy before you leave the house. Once you are there, you can pick at some foods here and there when you do get hungry instead of eating a large meal first and then a second large meal once the party starts.
Many people find it more difficult to stick to their usual exercise regimen during the summer months. With so many summer time activities going on, you may not have the time to hit the gym five days per week. Even if you stray from your normal workout routine, you can still get in some type of exercise every day.
Don’t make the mistake of ditching a workout entirely just because you can’t make it to the gym. Instead, to prevent weight gain, incorporate any form of physical activity at some point in the day. Even doing some pushup and sit-ups each morning can make the difference between maintaining and gaining.
School is out for the summer, and the structured routine the kids followed all year is out the window. When kids have the opportunity to stray from their normal structured routines, they are more likely to engage in less than healthy activities such as lounging around on the couch, watching television and eating unhealthy snacks. Parents can help reduce the risk of summer weight gain in their children by encouraging their kids to make healthy dietary choices and providing them with opportunities to be more active. Parents who work should consider summer camp options that offer sports and physical activities rather than a classroom-based child care facility.
Hot Summer Days
If you live in an area that sees extreme temperature rises, you will be less likely to get up and get going. High temperatures can zap energy quickly, making a comfy couch in an air-conditioned room seem extra appealing. To make sure that you get some physical activity in, make it a point to find simple exercises you can do that won’t drain your energy. Go for a walk or jog early in the morning before temperatures rise, or take a swim in the evening after humidity levels drop. For more tips on how to stay cool this summer, check out 10 Cool Ways To Beat The Heat This Summer.