The Healthy Truth: How not to gain weight this summer

How not to gain weight this summerDear Friend,

It’s officially been summer now for a week or so, and you can’t help but stay outdoors more often. Summertime is a great time to be outside, get more social, and shed those extra wintertime pounds. Losing weight in the summer should be easy in theory, but unfortunately, there are still many factors that can make you put on even more weight instead of losing it.


But before I get into explaining how the summertime can make you fat, let’s revisit winter for a moment. During the snow season, it’s dark, gloomy, snowy, and – above all – cold. We basically go into hibernation mode and dread the idea of heading outdoors – even going to the gym. So there isn’t much surprise really if we put on extra pounds during this time. Furthermore, major holidays take place during the winter, too, hence the non-stop binge-eating and drinking. Therefore, if you consider that summer has better weather and less holiday gatherings, it would make sense that we shouldn’t put on weight, right? Well, now, let me show you how the summertime can still sabotage your weight goals.

It’s hot in the summer, so we need to cool down. Many of us opt for ice cream or iced coffee. Sure, these are delicious, but as a regular staple in your diet they can have you fearing your own bathing suit.

A single serving of vanilla ice cream (1/2 cup) has 137 calories, seven grams of fat, and 14 grams of sugar. But, frankly, who eats just one serving of ice cream? Instead, we opt for different flavors, multiple scoops, sauces, and other toppings, all of which can send the calorie, fat, and sugar content up through the roof! Reconsidering your cooldown treat yet?

Another popular item is iced coffee. Now, if you take your coffee black and add ice, it is yet a refreshing beverage that won’t add pounds to your waistline. But once again, we usually opt for the blended varieties that taste like s’mores, with crazy amounts of sugar, whipped cream topping, and syrups, which ultimately make the end result worse for you than a takeout burger!

Not convinced yet?

hot dogLet’s take a look at the summertime staple foods – hot dogs and hamburgers. Sure, grilling is a great healthy way to cook, but hot dogs and hamburgers with all the fixings are sneaky summertime favorites that make the number on the scale grow.

A 53-gram hot dog has 151 calories, 13 grams of fat, and a whopping 566.8 grams of sodium! Have high blood pressure? Then stay super far away from hot dogs. And once again, complementing with those delicious toppings of ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise, cheese, bacon, whatever really, only adds up to the already unhealthy meal. Pair a hot dog or hamburger with a beer, and you have yourself a recipe for weight gain.

Worse yet, people feel that because they are outside, they are more active. Unfortunately, that isn’t always true. For example, many people go outside to simply sit on lawn chairs – and, frankly, what makes that any different than sitting indoors? Nothing. A sedentary lifestyle indoors or outdoors is still a sedentary lifestyle, the only difference is, you’ll probably end up a bit more tanned when you stay outside.

What I’m trying to say is, basically, summer season arrives with its own set of threats that can sabotage your weight loss journey, so you need to be mindful of these traps and work around them. I’m not saying you can’t enjoy an occasional ice cream or a nap in the hammock, but – as you’ve heard way too many times in your life – all good things in moderation.

So, don’t make that ice cream run a daily routine and don’t switch to a daily dinner of hot dogs and beer either. Rather, save these favorite items for a once-a-week treat (or even once in two weeks?), because really that is what they are, a treat.

I hope I shed some light on some of the summertime favorites that could be halting your weight loss progress, so you keep these dangers in mind next time you’re out enjoying the bbq season.


How do you keep fit during the summer? Any tried-and-true secrets on curbing those cravings? I’d love to hear about them all – so leave a comment below!

Until next week,


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Author Bio

Emily Lunardo studied medical sociology at York University with a strong focus on the social determinants of health and mental illness. She is a registered Zumba instructor, as well as a Canfit Pro trainer, who teaches fitness classes on a weekly basis. Emily practices healthy habits in her own life as well as helps others with their own personal health goals. Emily joined Bel Marra Health as a health writer in 2013.