Did you know? Weight loss is easier during the summer. Eating right, drinking more water, and getting an adequate amount of exercise each week are all easier when the days are longer.
During the winter, it’s a little too easy to make up excuses to put off weight loss efforts. Everything from the weather to your mood or countless festivities can get in the way.
Here are a few reasons why summer is an especially opportune time to start trying to lose weight.
- Fewer Holidays
Summer time means fewer holidays, parties, and events – especially those that are all about eating a lot of food. Even the food that is served during summer holidays generally is healthier and has fewer calories like grilled meats and fresh fruit. Summer holidays also often involve active outdoor activities like swimming or playing in a park.
- Craving Healthier Foods
With the summer heat comes natural cravings for lighter and cooler foods that tend to be much healthier (and lighter in calories) than the cravings we experience during dark and cold winters. It’s almost hard to imagine craving a salad or a fresh piece of fruit when it’s freezing outside – this is typically the time of year that we crave those warm, carb-heavy, high-fat, “comforting” foods that aren’t doing any favors for your waistline. Additionally, produce becomes much more readily available during the summer – making it not only the healthier option but also the more economical option.
- Spending More Time Outdoors
Great weather brings endless opportunities to get outside and be more active. Whether it’s spending a day at the park playing with your kids, taking the dog for more evening walks, or taking a dip in the pool, summer is filled with outdoor activities that are both fun and involve more physical activity. More time spent outdoors is correlated with increased physical activity in children (1). Why not see if this applies to adults as well?
- Drinking More Water – and Less of Other Drinks!
Between spending more time outdoors losing water through sweat and simply trying to stay cool, we naturally tend to drink more water during the summer months. Water intake generally increases by 40 percent during the summer as compared to the winter (2). Increasing your water intake is also one of the simplest ways to assist weight loss efforts because ingesting more water and other calorie-free beverages helps make you feel full and can minimize eating excess calories (3).
- Improved Mood
As you spend more time outdoors and in the sunlight, your body naturally produces more vitamin D. Possibly owing to increased levels of vitamin D or sunlight, studies suggest that moods improve significantly, too (4). Vitamin D doesn’t appear to directly influence weight loss. However, improved mood can lead to being less likely to overeat or make poor food decisions.
Why not take advantage of summertime for weight loss? If you’ve not kept your new year’s resolution, it’s a good time get back on track.
- Cleland V, Crawford D, Baur LA, Hume C, Timperio A, Salmon J. A prospective examination of children’s time spent outdoors, objectively measured physical activity and overweight. Int J Obes (Lond). 2008 Nov;32(11):1685-93. doi: 10.1038/ijo.2008.171. Epub 2008 Oct 14.
- Borys JM. Ruyter JC. Finch H et al. Hydration and obesity prevention. Euro J Obesity. 2014.
- Malisova O, Bountziouka V, Panagiotakos DΒ, Zampelas A, Kapsokefalou M. Evaluation of seasonality on total water intake, water loss and water balance in the general population in Greece. J Hum Nutr Diet. 2013 Jul;26 Suppl 1:90-6. doi: 10.1111/jhn.12077. Epub 2013 Mar 23.
- Vitamin D and Depression: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis Comparing Studies with and without Biological Flaws. Nutrients. 2014 Apr; 6(4): 1501–1518. Published online 2014 Apr 11. doi: 3390/nu6041501