Oh Summer. How beautiful you are, your warm weather, summer rain, trips to the beach, pool parties, and your food. Oh yes the food.
Summer is my favorite time of the year because of the seasonal deliciousness I get to partake in. Summer Dieting can be so hard, losing weight and sticking with a diet…Actually not really and let me tell you why. There are many alternatives and strategies we can use to make summer dieting healthy and more importantly, delicious. We are here to tell you our tips and tricks to summer dieting.
To start, practice a little low carb and sub a bun for lettuce on a burger or wrap. We all know the best part is in the burger anyway, right? One strategy you can use is to bring your own meat. Bringing a well marinated lean or even fatty piece of meat to a BBQ will set you on the right track. There you are enjoying a delicious juicy steak, chicken, or pork chop while hearing the panting going on around you of the poor souls wishing that they were clever enough to bring their own delicious morsel of meat.
But this benefits you how?
Because we know that protein is the most satiating nutrient, and eating a good portion of protein will help us keep away from over indulging on desserts and high calorie foods at a BBQ. Lets not forget about BBQ vegetables. These can make or break a good tasty summer meal. When attending outings bring some seasoned veggies to put on the grill and skip the high carb, high sugar foods and save the desserts until last. If you’re dying to indulge a little go ahead. One day isn’t going to ruin your whole week, month, or year. As long as you remember the key rule of moderation, partaking in a little guilty pleasure will not kill you.
Summer dieting isn’t as difficult as we make it out to be.
The summer season is actually the best time to shed that stubborn fat. As humans, our instinct (especially when we are indoors and its cold) is to eat. We are hunter/gatherers. Its in our DNA so when we become sad, cold, or bored, we tend to eat more.2 During summer season, studies show that serotonin levels increase with frequent exposure to the summer sun. According to the study done by the journal A M J Psyciatry in 2005, light therapy can treat mood disorders or seasonal depression up to 95%! And when we are depressed or sad our first reaction can be comfort through food.3
So get some sun, go outside and enjoy nature’s antidepressant. This will lead to a happier and healthier you. Make it a point to get outside at least 20 minutes a day to ensure your optimal health.
Summer is the perfect time for delicious foods that come into season.
Many fruits and vegetables are available. The following are just a few foods that we cant help but binge on during the summer season: cherries, apples, strawberries, peaches, bell peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes. These are just some of the many foods that you can indulge upon.4 Don’t take our word for it, try some yourself. One important benefit for eating the foods that are in season during the summer is price.
If you are concerned about how this will affect your wallet no need to fear, seasoned foods are in abundance and prices will usually come down making these very affordable for you and your family. You can apply these foods into all your recipes and meals making a perfect fresh summer meal the whole family will love.
So how do we get past those sweet treats at the summer parties? If you know that you have indulged a little too much with 1, 2 ,or 12 servings of potato or macaroni salad, you also know having those tempting sweet treats will set you over a mark that can be difficult to recover from. So how do we look past those sweet treats usually tempting us at the end of the table?
The first thing I would suggest is balance and give yourself room to splurge a little so you can have those tempting treats.
But if you know you went a little too far, fruit will be your next best friend. Choose fruits that are high in fiber. This will help cut cravings. Eat them whole and with the skin to ensure you are ingesting the optimum fiber content. Your sweet tooth will go away and your body will thank you. Choose fruits with high amounts of water content like watermelon or citrus, it is said that water can help relieve sugar cravings as well.
Water can be a key player in keeping our body fat percentage down. But before we talk about that we must discuss the importance of staying hydrated. The sun is hot (duh) but being outside more often during the warmer months, we can easily lose more water from our bodies than we realize in the summer heat. Our bodies are beautiful yet intricate machines. Given that our bodies are made up of 50-60% water it goes to show why water plays a key role in keeping our body running properly.1 Neglecting water intake can lead to a whole range of other problems other than fat gain or fat loss.
One uncomfortable, but necessary strategy to look for is the color of our urine.
This can be one our best tools to use to inform us that we need more water. Remember this phrase, “Clear is great but yellow is an unfriendly fellow”.
This will help you to know if your body is hydrated or if you need to increase your water intake. I’ll stop now but you get the point. Does water really play a role in fat loss? Yes, yes it does. A study focused on water and its effects on weight loss, which found significant evidence that it does have an affect. 50 women were studied with drinking 1.5 L of water per day. The results concluded that body weight, BMI, body fat, and appetite, were all suppressed. This is a testament to the power of drinking water especially in the summer months when we are exposed to more sunlight and are increasingly more active.
So what can you do to achieve that summer body without completely counting calories and eating like a rabbit? Bring your own meat, grill your veggies, shop fruits and veggies in season and remember to drink your water. You will thank us later.
By: Jared Harris CFL1 BS. Blaynie Harris PN1, BS. ZIN
1. Andrews, Ryan. All about Dehydration. Precision Nutrition, 2018. Accessed May 11, 2018. https://www.precisionnutrition.com/all-about-dehydration.
2. Clark, S. (2010, June 7). America’s Healthy Summer: Do Summer Dieters Have Greater Chance of Weight Loss Success? Retrieved May 11, 2018, from https://abcnews.go.com/GMA/OnCall/lose-weight-summers-good-time-diet/story?id=10842378
3. Golden, .., Gaynes, .., & Hamer. (2005). The efficacy of light therapy in the treatment of mood disorders: A review and meta-analysis of the evidence. (4th ed., Vol. 162). AM J Psychiatry. Retrieved May 11, 2018, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15800134.
4. Smith, B. (2017). The 10 most nutritious summer fruits and vegetables. Mens Journal. Retrieved May 11, 2018, from https://www.mensjournal.com/food-drink/10-most-nutritious-summer-fruits-and-vegetables/.