Is it hard to lose weight in the summer season?
Summer does have its downsides – you might feel the temptation to skip your workouts, your appetite may go down, and your body’s natural metabolism may slow down too.
Here’s why you shouldn’t sweat about it anymore.
We’ve compiled a list of science-backed summer weight loss tips that can help you shed extra pounds, build muscle and get closer to your weight loss goals in the summer.
Ready to dive in? Let’s get started.
1. Hydration is necessary
Inadequate water intake can cause dehydration and heatstroke during summers; therefore, it is essential to maintain fluid intake. Have lemon water, fresh coconut water, buttermilk and watery fruits like watermelon, cantaloupe and berries.
Adequate water intake may also promote weight loss by increasing fat breakdown, as observed during a study(2).
During summers, we usually crave chilled fruit juices, squashes, shakes, cola beverages and fruit-flavoured drinks but tend to forget their high sugar content.
To prevent calorie load, replace sugary drinks and juices with amino drinks having zero added sugar but with a boost of amino acids and electrolytes to supply energy for your workouts and maintain a healthy fluid balance.
2. Stay physically active
An active lifestyle is a key to staying fit and reducing the risk of lifestyle-related diseases. You can engage yourself in yoga, sports, dancing, gymming, swimming, etc., as per your preference. It will help boost metabolism and burn fat swiftly.
Exercise contributes immensely to weight loss and maintenance.
3. Incorporate natural herb extracts into your diet
Herbal teas and superfood extracts offer many health benefits. For instance, green tea is loaded with antioxidants that boost metabolic rate and fight oxidative stress.
Similarly, in your summer detox diets, you can include a blend of superfoods and greens extracts available in multiple forms, like powders and effervescent tablets, to facilitate detoxification and eliminate toxins from the body.
Prefer unsweetened tea and coffee. Replacing sugar with other options like jaggery, honey, or date sugar provide additional benefits, including calories. Instead, have a plant-based sweetener like stevia with zero calories.
4. Support your gut with pre and probiotics
Studies have shown that gut health influences weight loss(6). The gut bacteria can affect how different foods are digested and metabolized to make you feel full hence can affect your weight.
Probiotics are health-boosting live bacteria naturally found in our gut, and prebiotics are their food that promotes the growth of probiotics. Therefore, foods like kimchi, kombucha, buttermilk, kefir, curd, sauerkraut, green tea, nuts, seeds, oats, fruits and vegetables must be considered.
You can also go for pre and probiotics supplements providing dual benefits of both.
5. Never compromise on sleep
Another scientifically proven fact is that inadequate sleep can cause weight gain(4). If you aim to lose weight, 7-8 hours of sleep is necessary every day.
Sleep helps relieve stress and minimizes stress hormone levels(1). In contrast, lack of sleep can alter the balance of appetite hormones resulting in increased cravings for foods high in fat and sugar.
6. Snack smartly
Though snacking is not considered a good idea during weight loss, the fact is choosing healthy snacks in between meals can actually support your fitness goal. Instead of binging on junk foods, pick wholesome snacks like nuts, seeds, peanut butter, meal replacement shakes, protein bars and fruit yogurts.
7. Try metabolism boosters
During your weight loss journey, you might reach a stage where you feel that there are no visible changes in weight despite following a disciplined diet and workout routine.
Supplements like fat burners can give the extra push required to break that plateau. Fat burning supplements usually contain ingredients like caffeine, green tea extract, green coffee bean extract, L-carnitine and Garcinia Cambogia that may help get a more sculpted shape.
8. Prefer a colourful meal
Summers offer a comprehensive range of fruits and vegetables, and one should try to reap the maximum benefit from it.
Include coloured fruits and veggies like mango, melons, berries, bell peppers, papaya, green beans, cucumbers etc., in your salads and meals to get your daily dose of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.
Micronutrients like vitamins and minerals play a vital role during energy metabolism, and their deficiencies can affect your weight loss goal to a considerable extent(5).
Consider taking a multivitamin supplement if you are a picky eater or feel it might be challenging to meet your daily micronutrient needs.
9. Choose healthy fats
Cook your meals using healthy oils and fats like coconut oil, olive oil, ghee and mustard oil. MCTs in coconut oil keep your energy levels up while boosting metabolism and promoting fat burn.
You can also add MCT oils to your morning coffee.
It is better to use these oils on a rotational basis to enjoy all benefits.
10. Boost your vitamin D levels
Ensure adequate sunlight exposure to optimize your vitamin D levels during summers. Studies indicate that insufficient vitamin D levels are correlated with obesity and higher BMI (Body Mass Index)(7).
Losing weight during vitamin D deficiency might be challenging.
11. Be attentive to nutrition labels
Do your grocery shopping carefully, especially with packaged food. Scan the ingredient list and look for added sugar, refined flour and sodium content. Some diet foods may not be healthy as claimed.
Some diet foods may not be healthy as claimed. Products labelled as ‘sugar-free’ are usually high in fat to make up for the texture and taste.
Look for the serving size. Some foods may appear low in calories, sodium, added sugar, and other items on the nutrient checklist due to the small serving size listed, but actually, they are not.
12. Hot it up
During summer, you might not crave spicy foods but do not let that keep you from adding some metabolism-boosting spices like cayenne pepper, mustard, and chilli pepper to your meals.
These spices enhance the meal flavour and naturally boost our body’s ability to burn fat due to the presence of a compound – capsaicin.
13. Plan your meals
Avoid meal skipping, schedule your meal timings, and stick to that. Skipping of meals can affect the calorie-burning rate of the body.
14. Walk after your meals
Numerous studies support the benefits of walking after eating(8). Walking for 10-20 minutes after a meal improves digestion, controls blood sugar levels, and reduces obesity risk.
Go for a light walk if you are not comfortable with brisk walking.
15. Avoid having ready-to-eat meals
Pre-packaged meals might sound convenient, but they may have poor dietary quality.
Ready-to-eat meals are often high in preservatives and sodium, raising blood pressure, making you feel bloated, and increasing weight.
Instead, opt for freshly cooked meals. If you are short of time, prefer protein shakes, low sugar protein bars, and meal replacement shakes.
16. Never overlook protein
A healthy weight means more lean muscle mass with a lower fat percentage. To ensure that, we must not forget a vital nutrient – protein. Diet must include protein-rich foods like eggs, chicken, lean meat, pulses, nuts and dairy products.
In addition, you can also opt for protein supplements that deliver around 20-25 grams of high-quality protein per serve.
Including a protein-packed food item in every meal would be best, especially breakfast. Research indicates that people who eat a protein-rich breakfast tend to consume fewer calories the entire day(3).
17. Focus on dietary fibre
Fibre is necessary irrespective of your health goal. However, it has a notable role during weight loss as fibre makes us eat less naturally by delaying stomach emptying and facilitating the release of satiety hormones.
As per the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), we need at least 25-40 grams of dietary fibre per day, combining both soluble and insoluble fibre.
You can also opt for fibre supplements to keep your bowel and gut happy.
18. Choose whole grains over refined ones
Opting for whole grains like wheat, oats, buckwheat, brown rice, and millets is an excellent weight loss strategy. They are packed with nutrients like calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and B-vitamins. Their high fibre content fills you with fewer calories, prevents insulin spikes, and controls blood cholesterol levels.
If you are a fan of pasta and bread, go for the ones made with whole grains instead of refined wheat flour. Be careful with the ingredient list.
Load your pasta with your favourite veggies like spinach, broccoli, bell peppers, carrot, sweet corn, cauliflower, and your healthy weight loss meal is ready. One can also add some sprouts, boiled beans, eggs, or chicken to enhance the protein content.
To sum up, losing weight is not difficult but demands commitment. This summer season, find ways to stay active, eat healthily, try these tips and be dedicated to your weight loss goal.
Pro Tip: Always stay motivated and never forget that every day is a fresh beginning.
- Hirotsu, C., Tufik, S., & Andersen, M. L. (2015). Interactions between sleep, stress, and metabolism: From physiological to pathological conditions. Sleep Science, 8(3), 143–152. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.slsci.2015.09.002
- Thornton, S. N. (2016). Increased Hydration Can Be Associated with Weight Loss. Frontiers in Nutrition, 3. https://doi.org/10.3389/fnut.2016.00018
- Moon, J., & Koh, G. (2020b). Clinical Evidence and Mechanisms of High-Protein Diet-Induced Weight Loss. Journal of Obesity & Metabolic Syndrome, 29(3), 166–173. https://doi.org/10.7570/jomes20028
- Chaput, J. P., & Tremblay, A. (2012). Adequate sleep to improve the treatment of obesity. Canadian Medical Association Journal, 184(18), 1975–1976. https://doi.org/10.1503/cmaj.120876
- Major, G. C., Doucet, E., Jacqmain, M., St-Onge, M., Bouchard, C., & Tremblay, A. (2008). Multivitamin and dietary supplements, body weight and appetite: results from a cross-sectional and a randomised double-blind placebo-controlled study. British Journal of Nutrition, 99(5), 1157–1167. https://doi.org/10.1017/s0007114507853335
- John, G., Wang, L., Nanavati, J., Twose, C., Singh, R., & Mullin, G. (2018). Dietary Alteration of the Gut Microbiome and Its Impact on Weight and Fat Mass: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Genes, 9(3), 167. https://doi.org/10.3390/genes9030167
- Entezari, M., Khosravi, Z., Kafeshani, M., Tavasoli, P., & Zadeh, A. (2018). Effect of Vitamin D supplementation on weight loss, glycemic indices, and lipid profile in obese and overweight women: A clinical trial study. International Journal of Preventive Medicine, 9(1), 63. https://doi.org/10.4103/ijpvm.ijpvm_329_15
- Hijikata, Y. (2011). Walking just after a meal seems to be more effective for weight loss than waiting for one hour to walk after a meal. International Journal of General Medicine, 447. https://doi.org/10.2147/ijgm.s18837