Summer Weight Gain - Why it Happens and How to Avoid It

The sun is out in full force and the temperatures are rising! For many, this means cookouts, barbeques and fun in the sun. For others, this means struggling with eating healthy, controlling portions and regular exercise. Many of us consider winter to be the worst time of year for our waistlines, but many people struggle with their weight in the summertime too. Don’t let summertime get-togethers and hot weather get in the way of your healthy eating commitment. A little know-how can go a long way in keeping vigilant throughout the summer months. Here are my top 4 tips to avoid packing on the pounds and staying healthy.

Drink Lots of Water

Many times when people think they are hungry, they are actually just thirsty. By drinking lots of water throughout the day, you'll lower the risk of overeating. But if you couldn’t stop yourself it’s okay. Just be sure to take a walk after eating to get your metabolism going instead of lying on the couch. Try not to let the guilt fester and add some exercise to your day. Go out for a walk with the family, take a bike ride, go for a hike or do some yoga. And always remember that the next day is a new day -- don’t let it be a downward spiral!

Plan Daily Exercise

If you love to exercise, but hate the hot weather then you need to think a couple steps ahead. Be a vigilant weather watcher and plan your outdoor exercise for early in the morning or later in the evening once it cools down. It’s not enjoyable to work out in the suffocating heat and humidity, nor is it safe.

Be Smart about Dining Out

Warm weather means dining al fresco! But when you eat dinner out, reduce the temptation to clean your plate by setting aside one-third of your meal. Ask the server for a doggie bag and take it home for lunch the next day. Try serving yourself one-third less at home too. This simple tactic can potentially subtract more than 500 calories a day.

Re-Examine your Drink

The hot weather has us reaching for liquids, but be careful! Stay away from soda, juice drinks, and other sugar-sweetened beverages as much as possible. Soft drinks and juice drinks are a major source of empty calories in the American diet. And go easy on the alcohol while you’re at it too. Remember that alcohol is a source of empty calories. A 12-ounce beer has 150 calories; a 3.5-ounce glass of wine has 85; and a margarita packs an even bigger caloric punch at a whopping 680 calories for 12-ounces. Even worse offenders are creamy cocktails, such as brandy alexanders and mudslides — equivalent to drinking a rich dessert.

Factors in Our Favor

While there are many factors working against us during the summertime, there are also many factors working in the favor of health and weight management too. The weather is usually good enough to get in some outdoor physical activity daily, and fresh produce is quite abundant this time of year too. Focus on what you can control, and try not to let guilt fester if you have overeaten. Instead, add some exercise to your routine after indulging. It is a great time of year for a long walk or hike. And always remember that the next day is a new day.

Don't let summertime get you off your weight loss plan. Keep up with the Seattle Sutton Healthy Eating blog for the latest healthy living tips. Purchasing a Seattle Sutton's Healthy Eating meal plan is also a great way to ensure you are not overindulging during the warm summer months.