A lot of people feel more pressure during the summer to lose weight and get “swimsuit ready”. There are a lot of fad diets out there and a lot of quick solutions to losing weight, but are they healthy?
Chances are if you are crash dieting, only drinking tea, or wrapping your body in something you are not taking the healthiest route to weight loss.
It’s no secret that I hate fad diets, silly weight loss “cleansing” teas and juices, and especially those fat wraps.
I might be old-fashioned, but I believe the best way to lose weight is eating healthy and being active.
I learned a lot from my nutrition and exercise physiology classes at Iowa and the information has really stuck with me, which is another reason I created this blog- to help and educate people on running and being healthy.
I have created a list of ways to get healthy this summer and help shed unwelcome pounds.
I know I have summers off so I have more free time, but I tried to keep in mind that most people work throughout the summer so time can be an issue!
In my opinion, salads are a staple in my summer diet. One easy way to eat more salads is to grow your own lettuce. I promise it is really easy! If you do not have a garden you can either have a small raised box or just giant bowls to plant your lettuce in. I have a mixed variety of lettuce and kale in my garden. It is so nice to go outside and pick my lettuce, wash it, and let it chill for a while in the fridge. The awesome thing about growing lettuce is that it grows back super fast so I never have to wait.
Lately I have been adding quinoa to my salads to make them more filling. Try it!
I know this one can be very hard. I struggle with processed foods in my house because Morgan loves certain thing (pop tarts, mac and cheese, etc.). Try to get the majority of your dietary intake from whole foods (unprocessed). Often times when I am at the grocery store buying frozen veggies and fruits I look across the aisle and see frozen meals and shudder. Now I don’t want to come off as a food snob, but most of the times those frozen meals are packed with sodium and chemicals I cannot pronounce.
It does take more time to make meals with whole foods, but I think it is worth it.
I sound like a hypocrite as I am currently on my laptop typing this post. With that being said- really try limiting your time on electronics and swapping them out for physical activity. I love watching HGTV so I am also guilty of watching a lot of television, but there are ways you can make it worth your while.
Use commercials as quick 2-3 minute bursts of exercise. Split the time between jumping jacks, core work, mountain kicks, whatever it is- use that time to get in some activity.
Lately I have been watching television in the morning while I do my strength training workout so I don’t feel guilty at all.
If you don’t watch television but are guilty of spending too much time on the internet or playing video games try limiting that time and replacing it with physical activity. I record most of the television shows because I have a hard time sitting down and watching 60 minutes of tv, so maybe try that route.
One of the many things I love about summer is that it stays lighter for longer, making it easier to take evening walks. I’ve been walking Charlie each morning for about 30 minutes, and last night I had Morgan take an evening walking with us. It is a great way to relax, have a good conversation, and get in some activity.
Morgan made me laugh because he complained about me having him walk each night… I reminded him that in less than a month he will be walking all day through the streets of Munich, London, and Paris! I’ve started his walking plan and I am not letting him back out!
Summer is hot and our bodies need to stay hydrated. One thing I do that helps me remember to drink water is to keep a 32 ounce container of water in the fridge for me to drink each day. It might sound odd, but I love watching the level of water in the container go down- it keeps me motivated to drink water.
My runs go much more smoothly if I have been hydrating like I should. It is important to drink water throughout the day and not just before and after exercise.
Last summer I included biking into my workouts and found out that I love it. It is an activity that both Morgan and I enjoy, and a great way to get around! I often rode my bike to places I needed to get to and not only burned calories, but also saved gas.
If you are getting bored with your current mode of exercise try something new. Whether it is adding in some burpees, yoga, sprints, swimming, it may be rewarding to try something new. You never you, you may find your new favorite way to exercise!
I have a huge yard so I have been spending countless hours in my yard, and I have found out that I love it. I don’t necessarily love pulling weeds, but I love raking, planting new flowers, working in the veggie garden, and throwing balls to Charlie. Gardening and yard work can be a great way to get outside, burn calories, and make your yard look great!
It might sound funny, especially when reading about a post on how to lose weight, but eating more often can be good. The key to this is to eat less, but more often. Try snacking throughout the day (healthy snacks!) to keep your metabolism up and working. I typically have little snacks throughout the day before each meal. When teaching it can be harder, but I keep nuts (almonds and walnuts) in my desk, as well as some string cheese for easy, quick things I can eat without my students noticing.
I hate being hungry so make sure your snacks are healthy AND filling.
These are just a few helpful hints to lose some weight and become more active this summer. Of course there are dozens of other ways, but if I included them all this post would be ridiculously long! If you have any helpful ideas for readers please leave a comment!