Lose Weight in the Summer!

Summer just started.

Lazy, hazy, fattening? days of summer?

Lazy, hazy, fattening days of summer?

For some people the start of summer marks the end of their diet.

With kids out of school it just seems that summertime lacks structure. There also seems to be more impromptu socializing centered around the backyard barbecue.Screen Shot 2014-07-01 at 7.06.45 AM

It’s hot. It’s too hot to cook. Take-out, fast food and cold mayonnaise-based pasta salads taste good without heating up the kitchen. Lots of ice-cold beer and frozen “adult” drinks help to beat the heat (or beat something!) The ice cream man rides through your hood with his siren song playing loudly. Ice cream will hit the spot! It may be too hot to cook, but it never seems to get too hot to eat or drink!

Let’s face it, it’s hard to stay on the weight loss track in the summer.

That’s okay! Take the summer off! Autumn is coming and it’s a good time to get serious again.

Yes, fall is when the kids go back to school. Life gets structured again.

As kids we got into the habit of “going back to work” after Labor Day and that early conditioning seems to stick with us long after we close the last text book.

Fall is the perfect time to lose weight. Screen Shot 2014-07-01 at 7.03.51 AM

The heat of summer is gone. The kicked-back summer attitude is replaced with one that says it’s time to get serious again. Cooler weather and back-to-school attitude sets us up for a great start to weight loss.

We start out strong but then things can go wrong starting with Halloween and all that candy!

We thought we were up for the challenge. We’ve been going strong with our weight loss efforts and it’s paying off! It’s supremely gratifying to step on the scale. We probably shouldn’t have bought that Halloween candy so far in advance. We probably really shouldn’t have opened it until the actual night we’d be putting it into the bags of the neighborhood children!

We try to put the candy incident behind us, but it’s shaken our confidence. Then comes Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving isn't one day of feasting anymore. It's four feast-full days!

Thanksgiving isn’t one day of feasting anymore. It’s four feast-full days!

It’s a holiday built on feasting and we already feel weak after the Halloween fiasco. It isn’t confined to a single day, anymore, it’s a whole longggg weekend. It can also be a super-charged emotional event and if we use food to cope, there’s another threat to our weight loss progress.

Thanksgiving is the start of the holiday season!

Let’s face it, fall begins as a great time to get serious about weight management but it becomes a problem the further we get into the season.

Winter starts with holidays and more delicious food available in places where we don’t normally find temptations. There is no need to expand on winter holiday challenges. Let’s just get those holidays behind us and wait until next year.

Screen Shot 2014-07-01 at 7.31.36 AMYes! Next year is the perfect time to start a personal renovation project! The new year is all about Project Me! I’m going to lose weight. I’m going to eat clean! I’m going to go to the gym and workout for an hour five days a week! Watch me! I’ve got this!

Why then, by the time it’s Groundhog Day have we abandoned these health and fitness goals for ourselves? Maybe our resolutions weren’t realistic? Maybe we didn’t think about how we integrate our family life and jobs with our New Year’s resolutions. Maybe we started out on too high of a gear and we stalled our motors.

Maybe winter is too long, too cold, and too few daylight hours to keep us motivated.

Who cares about being at goal? I can't even admire and enjoy my hard work under all this stuff!

Who cares about being at goal? I can’t even admire and enjoy my hard work under all this stuff!

Maybe when spring comes we can pick up where we left off!

Screen Shot 2014-07-01 at 7.05.16 AMSpring makes sense for getting off the excess weight. Longer, warmer days make outdoor exercise easy. We want to get in shape to look good in our bathing suits. We want to get rid of our “spare tires” and chubby thighs. We are super motivated and we can’t project any holidays that will challenge us.

Whoops! Easter! Why did we buy that candy so far ahead of the holiday? Why did we open it? Why did we buy even more candy at half price the day after Easter? Why did the needle on the scale get stuck?photo 3

Now it’s getting hot and our dreams of looking slim and trim in our bathing suits are melting away in our minds. It’s too late! The hot weather is here and we’re not where we wanted to be with our fitness goals! Summer is coming and we know the challenges of summer weight loss so let’s just wait until fall!

There is no good time of year for weight loss?

No! Not only is anytime of year a great time for weight loss, but if we want to maintain our weight loss, we need to learn how to manage our weight throughout the year!

There will be some challenges associated with the seasons. Learning how to overcome the challenges or even make the best of them and then get back on track is a skill that supports sustained fitness.

Tips to Staying with Your Weight Management Goals throughout the Year

  • Be realistic. Make a fitness action plan that fits your lifestyle.
  • Make a plan for “just today” to avoid becoming overwhelmed.
  • You are starting on a lifetime journey so pace yourself. Seek to make small shifts in eating and exercising.
  • Recognize you will slip from time-to-time. Just get up and move on.
  • Set up your environment for success. Make it easy to eat well and stay active.
  • Try new recipes and new activities. Keep it interesting and, more importantly, fun!
  • Consider enhancing your year-round lasting success by reinforcing your fitness goals in an environment of group support.
Jackie Conn

About Jackie Conn

Jackie Conn is the general manager of Weight Watchers of Maine. She is married and has four grown daughters and four grandchildren. Her experience with her own weight management journey and raising girls has given her insight into the struggles families face with weight, healthy body image, food and physical activity. She has been a regular guest on Channel 5 WABI news for more than ten years and appears monthly as a guest on FOX network morning program Good Day Maine.