If the number on your scale is rising with the temperature, don’t sweat it! This summer, we’ve got you covered with everything you need to reach your goal weight.
By the time summer rolls around, most of us aren’t as motivated to tackle our weight loss goals as we were when planning out New Year’s resolutions. So if summer snuck up on you this year and you’re not where you want to be, don’t get discouraged. You’ve still got time to shed a few extra pounds — and not just by switching out all your sweaters for crop tops. As long as you’re willing to make the right changes, your goals are already within reach.
Wake Up With Water
Summer and sweat go hand-in-hand, but just because you’re sweating doesn’t mean you’re burning calories. In fact, this means you’re losing water faster than normal, which is not a good thing. Water is vital to your metabolism and drinking more of it can increase your calorie burn, so avoid dehydration at all costs. Instead, start chugging! A study in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism found that drinking 17 ounces of water can bump up fat burning by 30 percent. So start your mornings off right with a couple glasses of water and try mixing it up with different detox flavors so you don’t get bored.
Dress To Impress
As tempting as it is to stay in your PJs all morning, especially during those lazy summer weekends, head to your closet before you head to your kitchen. According to clinical psychologist Katie Rickel, you can keep your goals front and center by dressing up before a meal. Showing that you care about your appearance is a great reminder to eat in a way that reflects that, whether you’re throwing on a nice sundress or your favorite bathing suit.
Opt For Oats
When the last thing you want to do on a hot day is stand over the stove, no-cook meals like overnight oats are a great way to start your morning. Not only can this breakfast be enjoyed cold, but a bowl of oats is high in fiber and will keep you satiated. That means you won’t be dying for a snack only a couple hours after you’ve eaten.
Rise And Shine
Wondering how to score a lower body mass index? The answer might be simpler than you’d expect. Just open up your blinds as soon as you wake up and… that’s it. According to a study in Plos One, getting sun exposure sooner rather than later can lead to a significantly lower BMI, regardless of what you’re eating.
Another study in the Journal of Marketing Research found that eating in well-lit spaces can trick you into making healthier choices. Researchers found people were 16-24 percent more likely to choose healthy foods when they ditched a dimly lit room for a bright one. With summer in full swing, there’s no time like the present to test this out.
Resist the temptation to order a cold, sugary frap at Starbucks and ask for an iced green tea to beat the heat instead. Better yet, order it unsweetened and save 11 grams of sugar for every 16 ounces you drink. Not only will this green tea do wonders for your waistline, but it’s a great source of EGCG, a metabolism-boosting antioxidant.
Get Your Fresh Fix
The farmer’s market isn’t just a great place to spend a Saturday afternoon, but it’s also the secret to healthy eating. The faster food gets from the farm to your plate, the higher its nutritional value. So head to your neighborhood market to stock up on fruits and veggies. Make sure to keep an eye out for what’s in peak season during the summer like high-fiber raspberries, anti-inflammatory strawberries, and leafy greens.
Munch On Tomatoes
You know what else peaks in the summer? Tomatoes. Whether you’re juicing them, slicing them, or eating them whole, tomatoes do wonders for your body. They’re high in water content, low in calories, and high in lycopene, an antioxidant that helps combat sunburns during hot summer months. And as if that isn’t convincing enough, a study in Nutrition found that drinking a small glass of tomato juice daily for eight weeks can result in almost an inch off of your waistline.
Grow Your Own
There’s nothing like a DIY garden of herbs to freshen up your kitchen and keep you in shape. Research conducted by the University of Utah shows that people who garden are about 11 to 16 pounds lighter than those who don’t. So throw on some gardening gloves this summer and get to planting. But don’t plant just anything — you’ll want to cook with herbs that are especially aromatic since a study in Flavour found that the stronger a dish smells, the less you’ll eat due to a release of satiety hormones.
If you don’t have the summer body you want, it’s time to stop focusing on what you’re eating for each meal and start paying attention to what you’re eating before. Snacking on a little something is always a good idea even if it’s just broth or a side salad, but certain fruits are even better. A study by Penn State found that participants consumed 187 fewer calories for lunch when they ate a large apple 15 minutes prior. Starting every meal with a grapefruit can also do the trick; it shrinks waists up to an inch, according to University of Arizona research.
Spice Up Your Meals
Even if it’s hot outside, you shouldn’t be afraid of a little heat on your plate. Adding spicy peppers to your diet isn’t just a great source of capsaicin, a fat-burning chemical that will help speed up your metabolism, but also a clever way to trick yourself into drinking more water.
BBQ With Beer
A beer belly probably isn’t what you have in mind for bikini season this summer. But don’t be afraid to pull out the alcohol when you fire up the grill for a Fourth of July barbecue. If you marinate meat with beer for four hours, you can lower the harmful chemicals in it by up to 68 percent, according to a study in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. Make sure you pick up some grass-fed beef, which is full of healthy fats.
Choose a Positive Influence
You may have thought you left peer pressure in high school, but it’s back and it’s here to ruin your diet. According to an Eastern Illinois University study, you’re in danger of consuming 65 percent more calories if you’re eating with someone who gets seconds. So choose your dining partner wisely or be prepared for a night of temptations.
Sometimes all you need for a little metabolism boost is a call from your best friend or a YouTube fail video. What do these two things have to do with weight loss? They make you laugh and, according to a study published in the International Journal of Obesity, laughing can increase your basal energy expenditure and resting heart-rate up to 20 percent. So find what tickles your funny bone and stick with it.