Do Summer Diets Work? Here's What You Need To Know

Summer can be a great time for dieters. Warm weather and long days make outdoor activities more appealing. Fruit and vegetables are in season, so they're fresher and taste better. But summer can also present problems and pitfalls for dieters. Hot weather does not just melt off pounds. Here are some of the pros and cons of summer dieting:

Good Points about Summer Dieting

  1. Warm weather and long days give you more opportunity for exercise. Also more variety of exercise, such as hiking, swimming, sports and bicycling.

  2. Fresh fruit and vegetables are more available and perhaps less expensive. They probably also taste better if they're grown locally.

  3. Appetites can be reduced in hot weather.

  4. If you're drinking plenty of fluids, you might feel too full to eat much.

  5. Summer is the time for grilling, which adds plenty of flavor to simple meals, like chicken and grilled vegetables.

  6. Salads make great filling meals, perfect for a hot day. Load up on fresh vegetables and add some protein. You can make vegetable salads, or use cooked whole grains or legumes like black beans or kidney beans.

  7. Bathing suits and shorts: skimpier clothes can be motivational to stick to a diet.

  8. High calorie comfort foods that sound appealing in winter seem less appealing in summer.

Pitfalls of Summer Dieting

  1. Parties: outdoor parties are great fun, but the temptation to eat too much in social situations can trip up any dieter.

  2. Vacation trips can offer all kinds of temptations to overeat, from large restaurant portions to trying local specialties.

  3. Beverages: it's important to stay hydrated in hot weather, but not with sugary soft drinks or sweetened iced tea.

  4. Beverages Part 2: large blended cocktails - margaritas, daiquiris, etc -- are loaded with calories.

  5. Ice cream cones and fudge shops.

  6. Hot humid weather can be a deal killer when it comes to exercise.

  7. Family visits: relatives may not always be comfortable with your weight loss efforts. They might make unhelpful comments (You're so thin!) or pressure you to eat the special high calorie family favorite foods.

You may be aware of your own personal summer diet pros and cons. Overall, summer is a big plus for diets as long as you stay aware of all those temptations to overeat. The best calorie control strategy for parties and vacation trips is portion control. As for ice cream cones: order the small size, enjoy and you're done. The good news: there isn't an open half-gallon of leftover ice cream calling to you from your freezer.

Updated: March 18, 2019

Donna P Feldman MS RDN is author of Feed Your Vegetarian Teen and Food Wisdom for Women: nutrition for aging with energy, vitality and health. Donna writes about food and nutrition at Radio Nutrition and is co-host of the Walk Talk Nutrition podcast.
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Disclaimer: The information provided here does not constitute medical advice. If you are seeking medical advice, please visit your healthcare provider or medical professional.


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