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Summer - A Good Time to Lose Weight

Updated on October 3, 2014
Beautiful fresh fruit and vegetables
Beautiful fresh fruit and vegetables | Source

Lose Weight and Change to a Healthy Diet in Summer

Summer is an ideal time to lose weight and improve your diet. In summer, most people wear fewer, lighter clothes making it harder to cover the bulges and making us more self-conscious. The bulges are even more conspicuous if we want to wear a swimsuit or bikini.

When I was fat, I'd lie in the bath and think I looked like a beached whale so nothing would have persuaded me to bare a lot of flesh to go swimming no matter how hot the weather.

When it's hot, we are less inclined to eat big, stodgy meals. Our bodies seem to crave lighter, fresher food. All of this makes it a good time to change our eating habits and lose weight if we need to do so.

Fresh Fruit Platter

Fabulous choice of fresh fruit
Fabulous choice of fresh fruit | Source

Summer Fruit and Vegetables

You probably know that ideally you should eat around five portions of fruit and vegetables a day - a portion is usually set at around 3 to 4 ozs.

Look around you at the huge selection of delicious fruit available during the summer - strawberries, raspberries (my favourite), melons, mangos, pineapples, to name only a few. Eat them fresh and uncooked and they will not only do you good but they are refreshing and thirst quenching too.

There are also many lovely vegetables in season. I can still remember when I was a child and picking peas in my grandmother's garden. When I'd picked them, I used to sit on the back doorstep shelling them ready for cooking. My grandmother would cook them in a little water with a sprig of mint, also from her garden, and they were delicious.

We would eat them with the summer's new potatoes. Usually, I can take potatoes or leave them but those first potatoes of the season are especially delicious.

I know you are now saying, "Potatoes! I can't eat potatoes when I'm trying to lose weight." I'm here to tell you that you are wrong. I lost more than 42 pounds incorporating potatoes into my diet. I just didn't pig out on them.

Take advantage of each new crop of fruit and vegetables as they come into season during the summer. They will never taste as good at any other time of year. Not only can you lose weight eating a lot of these they are also going to improve your general health.

Tabbouleh Salad Recipe

Mixed Berry Salad
Mixed Berry Salad | Source

Salads

Get out your favourite cookbooks, or look online, for fabulous salads made with all the in-season fruit and vegetables readily available.

Just remember that salad dressings pile on the calories so look for low calorie alternatives. Either make them yourself or buy them in your local supermarket. In the unlikely event they don't stock them, make a fuss and ask the manager why not.

Experiment with different kinds of lettuce. It doesn't all taste the same. Try adding different types of summer fruit to your salad. You might be surprised how a few grapes or slices of an apple or pear can complement the flavours of the usual salad vegetables.

Barbecued chicken - of course, you should take the skin off before you eat it.
Barbecued chicken - of course, you should take the skin off before you eat it. | Source
George Foreman 5-Serving Removable Plate Electric Indoor Grill and Panini Press, Red, GRP0004R
George Foreman 5-Serving Removable Plate Electric Indoor Grill and Panini Press, Red, GRP0004R

I love these grills. They are easy to use and help you cut out much harmful animal fat from your diet. I find that using this preserves the flavour better than many other methods of cooking. Some of the best-cooked fish, meat and vegetables I've tasted have been done on my George Foreman grill.

 

Summer - Barbecue Time

Most of us have barbecues during fine weather but look at low fat, low calorie alternatives. Chicken is one but make sure it is properly cooked - you can always cheat and cook it in your kitchen, just finish it off on the barbecue.

Did you know that venison (deer meat) is even lower in fat than chicken? It is an excellent meat if you are trying to cut down on fat in your diet. If you can't buy it in your local stores, there are many specialist providers selling on the internet who will ship it to you next day in chilled containers.

Don't forget to include some barbecued vegetables like sweet peppers, eggplants (aubergine), tomatoes and onions - you must take every opportunity to eat your daily allowance of fruit and vegetables!

If you don't have outside space for a barbecue, consider using an electric low fat grill instead. When I decided I had to lose weight, this was something I bought and it made a big difference because it doesn't hold the fat in food like steak or chicken. You also don't need to add fat to cook with it.

Breakfast in Summer

Weekabix - no added sugar breakfast cereal
Weekabix - no added sugar breakfast cereal | Source

Summer is an ideal time to get into the habit of eating a healthy breakfast. OK, you might be one of those people who pride themselves on never eating breakfast but did you know it is the most important meal of the day? It gives you the energy to work through till lunchtime and it is the one least likely to be stored as fat. If you skip breakfast, you will probably get hungry mid morning and then eat something unhealthy - laden with fat and sugar, for example.

Eat a healthy cereal but check the ingredients on the box before buying. You want to make sure you aren't buying one laden with sugar and salt because that is definitely not healthy. Add some summer fruit to your cereal to sweeten it instead of sprinkling sugar on it. Along with a small glass of juice, this would give you two portions of fruit towards your five a day minimum.

If you don't like cereal, make yourself a smoothie with fresh summer fruit or just eat a selection of fruit.

Healthy Summer Breakfasts

Muesli for breakfast
Muesli for breakfast | Source

Home-made Muesli - My Favourite Breakfast Cereal

Muesli is an excellent breakfast. Don't be put off by the store bought cereal. That often contains a lot of sugar and rather hard unappetising dried fruit. Why not make your own? It is much nicer and healthier too. An added bonus is that you can make enough for several days in just a few minutes.

Here's my recipe for Muesli

Pour raw oats into a bowl (judge for yourself how much you want to use),

Stir in dried fruit like currants, sultanas and raisins.

Next add any seeds you like, eg sesame, pumpkin, then chopped, unsalted nuts - any will do.

If fresh fruit is hard to get, like in the middle of winter, then cut up ready to eat dried fruit like apricots, mangos, prunes, figs and add them to the mixture.

Finally, if you like it, add some cinnamon or other spice. Cinnamon, in particular, is good because it naturally gives the muesli a sweeter taste so reducing the need for artificial sweeteners.

Stir the whole mixture again. I do it with my hands to make sure everything is well and truly mixed. Store in a screwtop airtight jar. Just add lowfat milk and a low calorie sweetener, if needed, when you serve.

Add chopped fresh fruit to the bowl before you eat it.

When I first made this, it was more oats than fruit because I had the store bought muesli as my model. Now I use more seeds, nuts and fruit. It's worth remembering, though, that, oats are recommended to combat cholesterol in the blood so they are important.


Breakfast and You

How often do you eat breakfast?

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And Finally...

If you get into the habit of eating healthily during the summer when it is easier, you will find that within a short time you are enjoying your new diet and want to continue this way of eating permanently bringing benefits for your overall health and maybe some weight loss too, if you need it.

© 2009 Carol Fisher

Have you any comments or recommendations about summer food?

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    • profile image

      debra1026 

      4 years ago

      I love having muesli for breakfast nowadays with different variety of nuts and fruits on it,Tasty.. great help. Nice lens.

    • profile image

      clarkshirag 

      6 years ago

      Just keep calories under control..

    • profile image

      burntchestnut 

      6 years ago

      I eat a lot of organic eggs. Eggs are so healthy for you and inexpensive. I boil them for lettuce salads, tuna and chicken salad and eat them for breakfast.

    • Wednesday-Elf profile image

      Wednesday-Elf 

      6 years ago from Savannah, Georgia

      I've followed a very poor diet for quite some time now and, with the addition of (too many) unwanted pounds, I have begun a 'lose weight - get in shape' campaign. To that end I now attend a 'stretch & tone' exercise class, plus trying to walk 5X a week. My diet has been hit & miss, but now am really trying with a lot of salads to fill in the empty spaces. I've only been on this new plan for a bit over a week, so don't have any progress to report, but at least I'm 'trying'. Thanks for this encouraging article!

    • profile image

      ricardolamb 

      6 years ago

      I am finding that lots of ingredients make for great salads -- pumpkin and sunflower seeds give great texture -- corn cut off the cob is a fun addition -- roasted red peppers, julienned, as are carrots -- and some dried cranberries add a lot of zest too -- I am loving my salads this summer and thanks for this lens!

    • profile image

      loseweight58 

      7 years ago

      Wow very nice lense I think some of these tips are going to be the fastest way to lose weight for the summer.

    • profile image

      MaryaSanders 

      7 years ago

      When I think of summer foods... I think of barbecues. Love those steaks and chicken breast!

    • Stazjia profile imageAUTHOR

      Carol Fisher 

      8 years ago from Warminster, Wiltshire, UK

      @anonymous: Wow! Thanks very much, Elaine.

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      8 years ago

      This is the July lens of the month at the Squidoo Weight Loss Group.

    • jolou profile image

      jolou 

      8 years ago

      It's a lot easier to put weight on than take it off, but you are right it is easier to start in the summer months. Fortunately I love fruit and veggies. I have a bit of protein with each meal to avoid huner cravings. Good lens with helpful information.

    • Stazjia profile imageAUTHOR

      Carol Fisher 

      8 years ago from Warminster, Wiltshire, UK

      @kcbaker1: Thanks for that Kasey, much appreciated.

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      8 years ago

      The Weight Loss Group has survived all the recent changes on Squidoo! This lens is featured at Weight Loss HQ

      Plus one refreshed Angel Blessing!

    • profile image

      kcbaker1 

      8 years ago

      Nice lens! Rated, favorited, and lensrolled to my fitness tips lens.

    • ElizabethJeanAl profile image

      ElizabethJeanAl 

      9 years ago

      It doesn't matter the time of year, losing weight is not easy. You do offer some great advice and I thank you for that.

      Great lens

      5* and lensroll to Top Ten Reasons to Add a Walk to Your Daily Routine and Fitness: One Step at a Time.

      Lizzy

    • profile image

      Deeishere 

      9 years ago

      Great lens. I give you a 5. And I agree 100% that summer is a great time to lose weight. We have so many great summer fruit. I also agree about the potatoes. I make them for my family but I can't eat them.....not much. I feel guilty. Lately, I been eating lots of veggies like string beans, greens and salads and various meats. I try to stick with chicken, turkey meat and fish. Maybe some pork but not much.

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      9 years ago

      Welcome to THE Weight Loss Group!

    • Linda BookLady profile image

      Linda Jo Martin 

      9 years ago from Post Falls, Idaho, USA

      Very inspiring with some helpful tips. Whenever I lose weight effectively it is during the summer. 5* and blessed!

    • Paula Atwell profile image

      Paula Atwell 

      9 years ago from Cleveland, OH

      I need to jump on your bandwagon! Excellent lens. Blessed.

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      9 years ago

      Another great weight loss lens - I do hope you will submit it to my weight loss group.

      Blessed by an Angel.

    • profile image

      Sojourn 

      9 years ago

      Can I go back to your Chocolate Drinks for Summer lens? LOL This was really, well done and now I'm hankering for some raspberries!

    • cjsysreform profile image

      cjsysreform 

      9 years ago

      I love fruit. Great lens, it's making my mouth water. If I lost weight I'd be sickly, but that doesn't mean I won't be enjoying all the summer fruit I can afford to buy.

    • Ramkitten2000 profile image

      Deb Kingsbury 

      9 years ago from Flagstaff, Arizona

      I keep trying to lose weight, but it finds me wherever I hide. I'm lensrolling this to my one weight-loss lens on the Jazzercise "Know More" Diet. Which is, well, kind of no more for me, but I still think it's a good concept. It really just boils down to the basics--exercise, good food and the latter in moderation.

    • Mihaela Vrban profile image

      Mihaela Vrban 

      9 years ago from Croatia

      Well, my favorite summer food is watermelon! :)

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