4 Tips to Help You Slim Down for Summer

Summer may already be in full swing, but that doesn’t mean it’s too late for you to get into shape for summer! Between enjoying the beautiful weather and family vacations, there are always steps you can take in the right direction. Research shows that summer can be an ideal time for weight loss because warmer weather encourages healthier eating (fresh fruits and veggies) and better hydration.

So, if you’re ready to kick off your summer slim-down, here are 4 of our favorite summer weight loss tips:

1. Don’t Skimp on Sleep

Sure, the days are a bit longer, but don’t let that hinder your sleep. Try to follow the National Sleep Foundation’s recommendation of 7-9 hours of quality sleep every night (1).

The scientific community understands sleep loss can dramatically affect a person’s physiology given that several studies have found that sleep restriction can alter the balance of hormones involved in controlling appetite, calorie intake, and metabolism (2-4). A recent study from Arizona State University, found that when overweight individuals skimped on just one hour of sleep for up to five nights per week, they lost less body fat during a structured weight loss program (5). In other words, lack of sleep can cause you to feel hungrier and lead to overeating, making it easy to derail your weight loss efforts.

While nothing replaces a good night’s sleep, if the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep isn’t happening, another tip could be squeezing in a quick 15-minute nap when a craving hits, which can often provide a much-needed energy boost in place of a high-calorie snack.

2. Increase Your Fruit and Veggie Intake

Hot weather typically makes people more prone to craving lighter and fresher foods like fruits and vegetables, which also tend to be lighter in calories and can help support your nutrition and weight loss goals.

Keep a variety of fruits and veggies in the house so you always have a healthy snack option when hunger strikes. Even better, have your fruits and veggies washed, chopped, and ready to go for convenience. Studies have shown that keeping a fruit bowl on the counter at home is associated with lower BMI within families (6). Conversely, one study showed that the proximity of the office candy dish was also associated with higher candy consumption (7).

These studies show us that humans are very easily influenced by what we see in front of us when it comes to food— if it’s there, you’re much more likely to eat it. So, give it a try, keep healthy foods in plain sight and hide the sweets and treats in your home to see how it affects your family’s food choice behaviors.

3. Drink More Water

Many of us do this naturally during the hotter months. One study found that water intake generally increases by 40 percent during the summer as compared to the winter (8).  And several studies have found that ingesting more water and other calorie-free beverages can minimize eating excess calories (9).

Prioritize your hydration this summer— Carry a refillable water bottle with you or set alarms on your phone reminding you hydrate.

Keep in mind, hydration doesn’t mean you must rely solely on drinking water. If you struggle with drinking enough water, you can turn to fresh fruits and vegetables high in water content, herbal teas and even low-calorie flavored waters. You can also try adding Isagenix Fruits or AMPED Hydrate to your water bottle. One recent study found that consuming low-calorie sweetened beverages was associated with a decreased consumption of sugar and carbohydrates at meals (10).

4. Eat Outdoors

Who doesn’t love an outdoor picnic or barbecue? When the weather is warm and sunny, there’s no better reason to take your meals outside. Not only is an outdoor meal with family and friends enjoyable, but warmer weather may even help slightly suppress your appetite. One study tested this theory and found that within a two-hour period, those eating in an environment with a warmer temperature (approximately 10 degrees Fahrenheit warmer) consumed almost 100 fewer calories than those in the cooler temperature (11).

Remember, it takes about three weeks for a new habit to stick and summer is just about three months long—more than enough time to break unhealthy habits and start healthy new ones. Make the reason for this summer season an opportunity for a new and healthy start.

References:

  1. Hirshkowitz M, Whiton K, Albert SM, Alessi C, Bruni O, et al. The National Sleep Foundation’s sleep time duration recommendations: methodology and results summary. Sleep Health. 2015;1(1):40–43.
  2. St-Onge MP. Sleep-obesity relation: underlying mechanisms and consequences for treatment. Obes Rev. 2017;18 (Suppl 1):34–39.
  3. Hibi M, et al. Effect of shortened sleep on energy expend- iture, core body temperature, and appetite: a human ran- domised crossover trial. Sci Rep. 2017;7:39640.
  4. Wang X, et al. Short-term moderate sleep restriction decreases insulin sensitivity in young healthy adults. Sleep Health.
  5. Wang X, Sparks JR, Bowyer KP, Youngstedt SD. Influence of sleep restriction on weight loss outcomes associated with caloric restriction. Sleep [Internet]. 2018;1–11. Available from: https://academic.oup.com/sleep/advance-article/doi/10.1093/sleep/zsy027/4846324
  6. Brian Wansink, PhD, Andrew S. Hanks, PhD, and Kirsikka Kaipainen, PhD. Slim by Design: Kitchen Counter Correlates of Obesity. Health Education & Behavior. Vol 43, Issue 5, pp. 552 – 558. First Published October 19, 2015. https://doi.org/10.1177/1090198115610571
  7. Wansink B, Painter JE, Lee YK. The office candy dish: proximity’s influence on estimated and actual consumption. Int J Obes (Lond). 2006 May;30(5):871-5.
  8. 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.
  9. Borys JM. Ruyter JC. Finch H et al. Hydration and obesity prevention. Euro J Obesity. 2014.
  10. Leahy M1, Ratliff JC2, Riedt CS3, Fulgoni VL4. Consumption of Low-Calorie Sweetened Beverages Compared to Water Is Associated with Reduced Intake of Carbohydrates and Sugar, with No Adverse Relationships to Glycemic Responses: Results from the 2001-2012 National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys. Nutrients. 2017 Aug 24;9(9). pii: E928. doi: 10.3390/nu9090928.
  11. Nutr., 24 August 2015 | https://doi.org/10.3389/fnut.2015.00020
  12. Molly C. Bernhard1,2, Peng Li2, imageDavid B. Allison2 and imageJulia M. Gohlke1,2*
  13. Warm ambient temperature decreases food intake in a simulated office setting: a pilot randomized controlled trial

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