Summer is the season for having fun, but it is full of unwelcome temptations when you’re trying to lose weight and maintain your beach body. Sweltering weather can entice us to lounge around to keep cool rather than being physically active. And hard-to-resist junk food shows up at so many special events or even just when you hear the jingle-jangle of the ice cream truck coming down the street. The good news is that summer also offers you lots of enjoyable ways to burn calories and eat well. At home or on vacation, you can keep your beach body and stay on track with keeping your summer weight loss motivation.
Here are a few of our favorite tips for summer weight loss motivation :
1. Play time.
Remember when you spent your summer days outside, playing tag, catch, hopscotch and other simple, active games? They are still fun ways to enjoy time with the kids in your life while you burn calories. And if your daily exercise is fun you are much less likely to binge on treats afterward than if you work out in a gym, according to a 2005 study in Marketing Letters.
2. Hit the links.
According to golftips.com, playing 18 holes of golf while pulling the clubs in a cart burns about 350 calories. But if you’re not a golfer, you can still enjoy the fun (and get some summer weight loss motivation!) by hitting balls on the driving range for an hour or playing a round of no-skill-needed miniature golf. Along the way you’ll burn off up to 210 calories.
3. Get dirty.
Gardening is a low-impact exercise that helps you maintain your strength and flexibility. Better yet, you get a steady supply of fresh, nutritious fruits and vegetables to enjoy whenever you want. A study in the Journal of the Academy Nutrition and Dietetics showed that people of all ages who grow even a little of their own food tend to eat more fresh produce, a key component of your healthy diet.
4. Boogie down.
Dancing, fast or slow, to the sounds of the music you like, burns 200 to 225 calories in a half hour—talk about some FUN summer weight loss motivation. Even better, when you dress up in your favorite summer outfit and move your body to the rhythm of a live band or DJ, you reduce stress and improve your mood. Dancing, according to a study in the European Journal of Sports Science, decreases stress hormones in our bodies and raises our self-confidence.
5. Partner up.
Working out with someone who gives you encouragement and support increases how much you will exercise, report researchers in Scotland. Find a buddy who loves to dance, swim, ride a bike or any summer activity you enjoy and you will be more likely to keep up with your daily fitness goals.
6. Wash your car.
Grab your hose and bucket and while give your vehicle a fresh and shiny look you’ll burn 150 to 200 calories in 30 minutes. You’ll save money you’d spend at the local car wash, you’ll keep cool, and you’ll keep your metabolism going strong. And you’ll feel good every time you get in your car.
7. Shop the farmer’s market.
The nearly 9,000 farmers markets across the U.S. are fully stocked in summer, according to the Agricultural Marketing Resource Center. That means you get to bring home all kinds of freshly picked produce at its peak of flavor for your daily servings of non-starchy vegetables. Tomatoes, peppers, zucchini and string beans all taste best when eaten just a few days after picking. Look for delicious summer fruits too, including peaches, melons and berries (all SmartCarbs), to enjoy with your meals and snacks.
8. Fire up your grill.
Cooking over an open flame adds lots of satisfying flavor to your meals without loading on extra calories. Make quick and easy summer Flex meals by grilling lean proteins, like chicken or seafood, and tasty vegetables such as zucchini, bell peppers, onions, and eggplant. Looking for new ideas on what to grill? Check out our story on 7 Foods That Taste Better Grilled >.