How to Achieve Your Summer Weight Loss Goals

Losing a little weight and toning up is a common goal in the summer. Bathing suits, shorts and more fitted tops are back in season and many want to drop a few extra pounds to help them feel a little more comfortable when they’re out in the sun. Summer is a three month season that lends itself well to weight loss. It’s warm outside, allowing you to be active both in and outdoors. In addition, many lower calorie foods like fruits and vegetables are in season. Set realistic goals for yourself this summer to help you achieve your desired weight loss and help you feel great for some summer fun.

Staying on Track with Weight Loss Goals

Decide whether to lose weight before or during the summer. Many people have summer weight loss goals. Consider whether you want that weight off before summer starts or you want to work on weight loss during the summer.

  • Many people want to lose weight before summer. You may want to be ready for your bathing suit the first day the pool opens or have an early beach vacation. You’ll most likely want to have lost weight prior to this.
  • If that’s the case, you’ll want to start your weight loss program before the beginning of the season. Plan to start a diet or incorporate more exercise at least a month or two before summer begins.
  • If you want to take advantage of the summer season and try to lose weight, you can start anytime during the summer.

Set a realistic goal. Summer is a great season to set and achieve weight loss goals. It’s a three month season where you can take off a good amount of extra weight if you need to. Set realistic goals this summer to help make sure you can achieve them.

  • When losing weight, try to set realistic goals. These help set you up for success instead of failure.
  • Keep in mind that to lose one pound of fat, you need to create a deficit of 3500 calories. This means that to lose a pound in one week, you would need to create a calorie deficit of 500 calories every single day. You can do this by reducing your calorie intake and burning more calories than normal through exercise. Over the course of 12 weeks, this would result in a 12 pound weight loss. If you wanted to lose two pounds per week, then you would need to create a deficit of 1,000 calories per day, every day with no cheat days.
  • Most health professionals suggest aiming for about one to two pounds per week. This is a safe and sustainable weight loss rate.
  • Although summer is about three months long in total, it may not be long enough to lose a large amount of weight. For example, a target goal of 50 pounds, would be too high for the short summer season.

Stay accountable during the summer. There are many things about summer that can make weight loss a little easier or more motivating to achieve. However, it’s also easy to get sidetracked with vacations, summer BBQs and parties.

  • Keeping yourself accountable anytime you’re trying to lose weight is essential. If you don’t track yourself and your progress, you’re more likely to lose sight of your goal and get off track.
  • To keep yourself accountable, try: weighing yourself one to two times a week, keeping a food journal, keeping a pair of skinny jeans or a bathing suit nearby to look at, building a support group or tracking your exercise with an app or a pedometer.
  • Summer lends itself to a variety of fun things that can lead you awry on your weight loss plan. Watch out for: summer BBQs, summer cocktails, summer treats like ice cream sandwiches and blueberry pie, larger portions and eating out on vacations or long days laying out at the pool.

Set rewards for yourself. Regardless of what type of goal you want to achieve, setting rewards for yourself can help encourage and motivate you to meet your goals.The same goes for weight loss.

  • Make staying accountable more fun by setting up rewards for yourself as you meet small or large weight loss goals over the summer.
  • Whenever you’re trying to set up rewards for yourself, consider avoiding food related rewards. A dinner out, a special dessert or an extra glass of wine can get you off track and set you back a few steps.
  • Try other rewards like: treating yourself to a day at the beach, getting your nails done, playing a round of golf, getting a massage, purchasing new clothes or taking an extra day off of work.

Modifying Your Diet for Weight Loss

Enjoy leaner cuts of protein. One method of your diet that you should focus on to achieve weight loss during the summer is the amount of protein you eat. Following a slightly higher protein diet can help you achieve quicker weight loss during this short season.

  • Protein is an essential nutrient in your diet. It helps fuel you through the day and support your metabolism and lean muscle. In regards to weight loss, it helps keep you satiated and less hungry during the day, which is a great component for weight loss.
  • To make sure you’re eating enough protein for your body, always include a minimum of one serving at every meal and snack.
  • Also, measure the appropriate portion size of protein. Each serving should be about 3-4 oz or about 1/2 cup.
  • Choose leaner proteins as well. These are naturally lower in fat and calories. Items like poultry, eggs, lean beef, pork, low-fat dairy, legumes and tofu are great examples.

Stock up on summer fruits and vegetables. One aspect about summer that lends itself well to a weight loss plan is all the in season fruits and vegetables. These low calorie foods should make up about 50% of your diet.

  • Health professionals recommend that you make half of your plate or half of all your meals a fruit or a vegetable. This not only helps you achieve a well-balanced and nutritious diet, but also helps support weight loss.
  • Both fruits and vegetables are naturally very low in calories. When you make half of your meals a fruit or a vegetable, that means half of your meals are automatically lower in calories as well.
  • When the warm weather hits, a whole host of fruits and vegetables are available. Enjoy the bounty of this season and choose a wide variety of both of these nutritious food groups.
  • Measure out a 1/2 cup of cut fruit or one small piece, 1 cup of vegetables or 2 cups of leafy salad greens.

Eat limited amounts of whole grains. Since summer is only for a short three month period, to achieve your weight loss goals, consider going on a lower carb diet. This has been shown to help people lose a little more weight quickly.

  • Studies have shown that in comparison, a lower carb diet can help you lose more weight in a shorter period of time compared to other diets . Since you’re focusing on a three month time period, this might be beneficial for you.
  • Low carb diets are eating plans that limit or restrict how many carbohydrates you eat. They’re found in foods like grains, fruits, starchy vegetables and legumes.
  • However, limiting your grain intake is a great modified low carb diet to follow. This allows you to still follow a balanced diet filled with other nutritious foods like fruits, vegetables and legumes.
  • Limit yourself to 1-2 servings of grains daily. Measure out 1 oz or about 1/2 cup of cooked grains per serving.
  • Also, try to choose only 100% whole grain if you can. These foods are less processed and contain higher amounts of fiber, protein and other nutrients.Try foods like oats, quinoa, brown rice, millet, whole grain bread or whole wheat pasta.

Limit summer treats. Although summer does have a lot of great foods that can help support weight loss, this season does come with its higher calorie treats. Beware to not over indulge this season or else you may not be able to meet your summer goals.

  • Foods or drinks that are high in fat, high in sugar are generally going to be higher in calories as well. If you eat these foods regularly or in larger quantities, it will make weight loss much more difficult.
  • Common summertime foods that can cause a slip-up include: ice-cream sundaes or ice cream cones, fruit pies, cakes, snow cones, fruity cocktails, beer or wine, hot dogs, hamburgers and even boardwalk fries.
  • You don’t have to completely avoid your favorite summer treats, but eat them in moderation. In addition, when you do have them, aim to have a smaller portion to keep the overall calories in check.

Using Exercise to Support Weight Loss

Burn extra calories with cardio. To boost your summertime weight loss, consider adding in some physical activity to your routine. Cardio or aerobic exercise in particular can help support your weight loss goals.

  • Cardio exercises come with a variety of benefits-like improved mood and sleep habits. However, this type of exercise also helps rev up your metabolism in the short term and burn calories. Combined with a weight loss diet, this can help you achieve your summer goals.
  • Aim to include about 150 minutes or about 2 1/2 hours of cardiovascular exercise each week. You need to include activities that are moderate intensity and engage in them for at least 10 minutes at a time.
  • Activities that can help you achieve your summer weight loss goals include: walking, jogging, dancing, swimming, surfing, skim boarding, playing sports, using the elliptical or kayaking.

Tone up and increase your metabolism with strength training. In addition to cardio exercises, it’s also important to include strength training exercises too. These work in conjunction with cardio and can help you maintain your summer weight loss.

  • Unlike cardiovascular exercises, strength training exercises help increase your metabolism in the long-run by increasing your muscle mass overtime. In addition, these are the exercises that can help tone muscles which may make you feel more comfortable in a swimsuit or summer clothing.
  • Health professionals recommend that you include at least one to two days of strength training every week. You should aim to work each major muscle group for at least 20 minutes in total.
  • Try lifting weights or taking a weight lifting class, doing yoga, pilates or body weight exercises.

Increase your lifestyle activity. Summer is also a great season to focus on increasing your lifestyle or baseline activity levels. This can help you stay active and help your body burn calories continuously throughout the day.

  • Lifestyle activities are movements and activities that you do as part of your normal day. Whether it’s gardening, mowing the lawn or taking the stairs, these all count as lifestyle activities.
  • Studies have shown that activities like these are equally as beneficial for your body, weight and health as more structured aerobic activities.
  • Summer is a great time to try to add more movement or more steps to your day. The weather is nice, allowing you to be active both in and outdoors.
  • Think of ways you can increase your lifestyle activity. Try gardening, mowing your lawn, swimming laps or doing pool walking instead of just laying out, trying a new beach sport like skim boarding or boogie boarding, walk around amusement parks or playing a sport outside on the weekends.

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