It seems like, every year, summer just sneaks up on us. It’s true: many of us simply fail to give our summer bods much thought before realizing we have to take our shorts and T-shirts out of our closets for the sake of not melting away in the sudden heat.
With that being said, people of all shapes and sizes have the right to feel comfortable in their clothes during the hot summer months, and nobody should feel obliged to shed any pounds for fear of looking ‘too fat’ in their summer outfits.
Furthermore, losing weight should be done at a slow and steady pace. Crash dieting is never a good idea just because you didn’t get to start the slow and steady process three months ago.
However, there are still some healthy and practical ways you can start losing weight right now should you wish to do so.
Stay Active by Walking Everywhere
Giving your car or public transport a break in favor of giving your legs a workout can help tremendously when it comes to weight loss.
Walking is widely considered to be the best form of cardio. Walking often and with varied intensities (i.e. switching between power walking and a leisurely stroll every 5 to 10 minutes) can not only help burn any extra fat you’re carrying around, but it can also contribute to speeding up your metabolism in the long run, which ensures that weight loss continues even when you’re not actively working on it.
We realize this might be easier said than done, especially if you don’t live near your school or office building. If walking everywhere all the time is not an option, try taking 45 to 60-minute walks at least three days a week and you will still be able to see results in a few weeks’ time.
Try Light-Touch Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting is the concept of keeping to a specific meal schedule within a 24-hour period. There is a time window during the day when you eat, and another window in which you do not consume any calories, and the ratio between these two can differ in favor of one or the other. Most of the time spent fasting is actually done at night, when you sleep, so you’re not required to expend any additional energy which would require a caloric intake.
If you don’t want to get into the theories behind intermittent fasting, you could still benefit from some of its core ideas. For instance, you could simply consider not having dinner on certain days of the week, and then gradually transition into not having dinner on any day of the week for whatever length of time it takes you to reach your weight loss goals.
Provided you’ve consumed enough healthy and varied nutrients throughout the day, dropping one meal (typically the last one before bedtime) could not only help you lose weight, but it could also ultimately allow you to maintain it by reducing your appetite and cravings overall.
Drink More Water
While no one claims that drinking water would make you lose weight on its own, there is still evidence to support the link between water and weight loss. After all, water comprises about 70% of your body weight, and so the clear, calorie-free liquid is involved in almost every physical function, including metabolic ones.
Water may help suppress your hunger, enhance your metabolism, and make your workouts easier and more efficient. The more hydrated you are, the more effectively your body can perform functions such as fat burning.
Ditch the Junk Food
Junk food has a poor satiety rating, which means it doesn’t fill you up very well. Soda, sports drinks, and specialty coffees are among the biggest offenders, as they may provide hundreds of calories while having little effect on satiating your hunger—and let’s not forget pizza, hamburgers, fries, cakes, cheese dips and industrial snacks!
Kick junk food to the curb by replacing it with raw food alternatives commonly found in a vegan diet and try forming a habit of snacking on fruits, nuts and vegetables instead of any of the abovementioned usual suspects loaded with sugar, sodium and saturated fats.
Remember that you do not have to go cold turkey on every single form of junk food for an indefinite period of time. Like everything else in life, the key here is moderation.
Count Your Calories Responsibly
Calorie counting can sometimes be a contentious issue among food scientists, however, counting calories while remaining mindful of consuming the right kinds of calories could prove to be of great benefit to your weight loss journey.
Calorie counter apps abound on app stores, and many of them can be customized to suit your weight loss preferences by calculating the amount of calories you should be consuming every day for optimal results. Be aware that these apps do not take into account specific health issues an individual has that may impact their weight loss, nor their genetics or body shape (things like having an apple vs. pear shaped body also influence areas where you tend to store more fat, for example).
The calculation is based on parameters such as your current weight, height, and the speed at which you wish to lose weight—keeping in mind that medical experts do not recommend losing over one pound per week. They can also be configured to send notifications when you fail to eat enough protein or healthy fats, and even remind you to drink water throughout the day.
Disclaimer: None of the tips contained within this article should be taken as professional medical advice. Always discuss your particular weight loss issues with a health expert first.