At long last - summertime is upon us. While most of us enjoy summer and all that it brings – many of us struggle with healthy living and making the best food choices.
I used to be under the impression that summer will naturally bring healthier eating, more activity and less stress. However, in my 30 years of medical practice, I can confidently say that summer turns out to be more of a challenging time than just about any other season.
I suppose the challenges are a result of us becoming a bit complacent. We assume we’ll be healthier and more active – so we drop our guard. The reality is that with all of the fun summer has to offer, there is a lack of structure and discipline. The barbeques, the trips to the lake or the park, the travels, the vacations and the evenings sitting on the back patio all tend to be associated with eating and drinking.
So, what is a person to do? Here are 5 tips that might help you navigate the summer temptations:
1. DRINK MORE WATER
Regardless of the weather, you must stay hydrated. When it comes to summers, it becomes more important than ever. The hot temperatures increase the likelihood of perspiration and sweating. So, starting your day with a full glass of water is a very healthy thing to do. Moreover, it also boosts your metabolism, which is very important if you are trying to lose weight.
When you drink lots of water, it not only keeps you away from dehydration, but it also induces thermogenesis, which in turn helps you reduce your body fat and weight.
2. EAT MORE FRUIT AND VEGGIES
In summers, especially if you are aiming to lose weight, it is better to reduce the quantity of meat intake and consume a diet consisting of vegetables and fruit. They not only provide you with sufficient nutritional value, but also assist you in shedding some weight. It is better to eat a salad at least once a day, as the greens and veggies offer high amounts of satiating fiber, which is excellent for better digestion.
Consuming veggies not only helps you lose weight, but also reduces the chances of cardiovascular disease. Try to prepare your salads with lots of veggies and fruits along with some walnuts or almonds, as they come with omega-3s and magnesium.
3. RETHINK SNACKING
You may have heard that snacking is not a good idea when you are struggling to lose weight. Well, that is partially true. No denying it! However, if you could simply pick the right snacks to munch, it is actually a pretty useful method for losing weight.
It is time to introduce some healthy snacks into your diet. Well, what is a healthy snack for weight loss, you may ask! To be precise, any high-protein and low-carb/sugar snack is good for you. Snacks, such as unsalted almonds are great for weight loss. They also help you in maintaining blood sugar levels, which in turn keeps your brain away from signaling too many hunger pangs.
4. ADD SPICES TO YOUR MEALS
The summer temperatures may make you feel averse to having some heat on your plate, but do not let that keep you away from adding spices, especially when some of them help you shed some weight. Spices not only enhance the overall taste of your food, but they also carry a lot of health benefits with them.
Consider adding spices such as mustard, cayenne powder, and chili peppers, as they contain capsaicin, a fat burning chemical. It also boosts your metabolism, which allows you to burn calories quickly and efficiently. They also assist you to feel satiated throughout your entire day. Simply put, spices improve the taste of your food, while also helping you with your weight loss regime. So, add them to your diet.
5. UNDERSTAND THE IMPORTANCE OF EXERCISE
Eating the right food, getting good sleep, and hydrating yourself definitely works. However, if you want to lose a lot of weight in summer, you would have to put your body through some physical activity. Whether you go to the gym and work out, or you simply opt for a home workout regime, make sure you do not neglect it.
Physical exercise is already a proven and efficient method to lose weight. Pretty much everybody knows that by now. However, only a few take action. So, be one among those few and burn that excess fat. If you are not a fan of regular workout, try alternative physical activities such as running, swimming, sports, or similar other things.