But often, it’s also a major set-up for major disappointment. On the one hand, you’re on the brink of sun-dress season making life-altering pledges to pinch that pouch and kick those extra curves to the curb. On the other hand, the amount of food being set in front of you at day-after-day summer BBQ’s and patio parties is enough to feed a small country. Staving off weight gain is an impossible task during patio season, unless you’ve got the right tools under your tightly laced belt. Get psyched and strategically prepared with these 5 summer weight loss tips, so that you can store some beautiful memories in your photo album this warm season – instead of in your thighs.
Women’s Weight Loss Guide for the Summer
1.) Gulp before You Go. Before you leave for the party, sit down to a big bowl of home-made soup, stock full of vegetables and protein (try this soul warming three-bean holiday soup). Aside from being very nutritious, these kinds of soups fill your tummy with water, fiber and protein. This magic combo fills you up for longer on less calories, and also triggers the “I’m full” hormones in your brain, helping you eat less when you get to the BBQ. Follow up your bowl of soup with a cup of cold green tea or peppermint tea. Green tea has been shown to melt pounds and waist inches, while peppermint tea has appetite suppressing affects.
2.) Plan out Your Plate. Once you arrive at the BBQ, it’s difficult to resist a beautifully laden buffet table. Go ahead and grab a plate, because it turns out that grilled lean meats could actually help taper that tummy. Studies have shown that when 25 – 30% of your daily calories come from lean protein, you could lose more weight, feel more satisfied and less hungry. So reserve one fourth to one third of your meal for grilled chicken, minus the BBQ sauce. Pile up the rest of your plate with vegetable appetizers like salads, skipping the ones that are swimming in sauce or mayonnaise.
3.) Location, location, location. Once you’ve filled up your plate, the best thing you can do for yourself is to walk away from the buffet. If it’s a sit-down affair, than finish off your plate and ask the person you’re chit-chatting with to carry on the conversation further from the table, where it’s more quite. Even when you’re feeling full and satisfied, you’ll find yourself mindlessly noshing while you socialize if the food is still within easy arm’s reach and in your line of sight. So scan the party premises for a comfy seat facing away from the food platters, and set up shop there by removing any snack bowls on nearby side tables. Talking to face the people you’re speaking with instead of the sweet table will not only help prevent overeating, but will also help you focus in on quality pow-wow time with old friends, family and colleagues. Keep your hands occupied around a glass of water with lemon, sipping as you enjoy the festive evening.
4.) Pick Your Poison. A summer BBQ without booze? Hardly. But it’s important to sip strategically in order to avoid the appetite stimulating affects of sugary cocktails, as well as all those unaccounted-for drinks breaking the calorie bank. So don’t head to the bar until you’ve finished your dinner, to help avoid a blood sugar spike from triggering your appetite again. Limit yourself to one drink if they’re really calling your name, and opt instead for wine or hard liquor in smaller tumblers to nurse slowly throughout the evening. We have an amazing recipe for a summer sangria!
5.) Enjoy the weather. After all that eating, remember to stay active. Take a special someone outside with you for some fresh night air and a beautiful walk around the block. The summer is the perfect time to get up early the morning after the party and to get yourself outside for a good, refreshing run or speed walk. Research shows that exercising outdoors burns more net calories than indoor exercise. Plus nothing gets rid of a morning hangover quite like a blast of air in your lungs!
Stay safe, eat responsibly, drink responsibly and exercise responsibly this summer! Laugh a lot, love a lot, talk a lot, and have fun doing it!