It’s not unusual for weight-loss journeys to have peaks and valleys; a few weeks of hitting the gym hard and eating well, followed by a few days of falling off the wagon isn’t unusual. What matters most is that you pick yourself up and keep the process going in a positive direction after those not-so-perfect days.
But if you’ve noticed a pattern of summer weight gain in your life, there are a few reasons this might be happening, and a few ways to shed those extra pounds come fall! We sat down with some weight-loss experts to find out why many of us gain weight in the summer, and how to quickly get back on track once the days get a little cooler.
Summer Weight Gain: Why It Can Happen
“Weight loss seems to be a year-long story with challenges sometimes occurring in summer and winter,” said Liz Wyosnick, a registered dietitian based in Seattle. “One possible reason for this is the consistency and frequency of gatherings, celebrations of big holidays, and vacationing during these two festive times. The summer holidays and celebrations may call for higher sugar fruits because they’re in season, alcoholic beverages, grilled meats, and possibly higher-fat dips and spreads. If any of these items is consumed in excess, consistently, that can lead to weight gain over time.”
Wyosnick also explained that the hot temperatures and humidity in the summer may deter some people from exercising, and because summer days are often more open-ended, they may “challenge any healthy intentions that tend to involve more planning and structure.”
How to Lose That Summer Weight
In addition to making a healthy diet and exercise routine top priorities in your life, there are a few other ways to give your weight-loss efforts a bump in the right direction.
According to Emily Tills, a registered dietitian and nutrition coach, one quick and simple way to get back on the wagon after August: stay hydrated. “Maintaining water intake is important to keep you hydrated, and may help with facilitating weight loss,” Tills said.
Another method that can help you lose some of that extra weight you may have gained during the summer is to limit the extras. “During events, gatherings, and celebrations, be mindful of the ‘extras’ like the appetizers before the main meal, or the full dessert table after,” Wyosnick explained. “Go with a plan to enjoy the main meal, add as many satiating vegetables as possible, and pick either the cheese platter or the dessert to enjoy on that occasion.”
A third, creative method for weight loss is to make sure you prioritize physical activity by turning certainf fall and winter gatherings into more active affairs! “Suggest a walk, an indoor swim, or even a yoga class prior to a shared meal or happy hour together,” Wyosnick said. “This way, you are able to catch up with friends and prioritize healthy movement. Walks or runs are more fun with others!”