- Nice weather encourages you to be active. In 2012, Americans set a record for exercising frequently, according to Gallup poll data. Why? Because the year was unusually warm. Not surprisingly, data also consistently show that exercise tends to be seasonal—Americans are generally most active in the spring and summer and tend to slack come fall and winter. So take advantage of the pleasant weather, and forego the gym for outdoor workouts on occasion: Past research has shown that people who exercise outside at least some of the time are more active than indoor exercisers.
- You may be less prone to bad-mood binges. Wintertime is dark and dreary—and for some people, that means it’s the season of depression. In a new University of Pittsburgh study of people with winter seasonal affective disorder, 27 percent reported binge eating during the most depressing months of the year. And of these overeaters, 94 percent said they isolate themselves during the winter and 90 percent said they crave carbs more than normal when it’s cold outside.
- Hot weather may help suppress your appetite. Yes, ice cream is the unofficial food of summer—but overall, you may find that you’re less prone to pantry raids in the warmer months. Why? The heat may tamp down your appetite. Case in point: In a 2013 study, people who worked out in a hot environment (86° F) ate less afterward than those who exercised in a cooler setting (50° F). This suggests that sweltering temperatures may, in fact, reduce your desire to eat—even after you’ve done a tough workout.
- Wearing lighter-weight clothes keeps you honest. There is nothing like a bathing suit, a tank top or a pair of shorts to reveal whether the winter has been good or bad for our weight management efforts. Slipping into your bathing suit—and then, you know, actually wearing it on the beach—can equal serious motivation to slim down. Wearing lighter-weight clothing instead of covering up in fleeces and long pants helps us stay focused on our goals.
- Fresh food makes it easier to control your calorie intake. Fruits and vegetables are naturally low in calories, which is why weight loss experts recommend them for weight loss and weight maintenance. Visit the farmer’s market and try some new foods, while enjoying the bonus of healthy, low calorie choices.
- The heat makes drinking water easier. Studies show that drinking water before each meal can help you lose weight. In the summer heat, drinking a lot of water is not only refreshing but a necessity due to the extreme temperatures. The more water you drink, the fuller you will feel and the less likely overeating will occur.
If you are on the fence about starting or continuing your weight loss efforts this summer, reconsider why summer is a terrific time to lose weight and get healthier for life!