With countless barbecues to attend, and tons of beers and rosé to consume, it’s easy to pack on the pounds during the summer.
But by following a few simple tricks, it’s possible to indulge in food and alcohol in the sun — while actually slimming down.
Registered dietitian Lauren Popeck, of Orlando Health, shared with INSIDER her three best tips for losing weight this summer.
When you're at a party (that actually has decent food), it's easy to binge without even realising it.
You grab an extra cupcake here, help yourself to a second hamburger there and before you know it, you've eaten way more than you planned.
But, if you make it a habit to eat a lot of fruits and vegetables, you'll be less likely to gorge on unhealthy treats this summer.
'You should try to fill up on as much fruits and vegetables as possible. Those are the foods that have the lowest amount of calories,' Popeck explained.
Fruits and veggies can help you feel full -- and they also have a ton of fibre, which is good for digestion.
The dietitian recommends eating summer staples, including tomatoes, watermelon, cantaloupe, leafy greens, squash and zucchini.
When you're out in the sun, it's vital to stay hydrated. But pounding beer or rosé -- or even a refreshing fruit juice -- instead of water can lead to unexpected weight gain.
'When you drink something, and say it's a juice or sweet tea, your body just digests that very quickly,' Popeck said. 'It doesn't give you the sensation that you're full or that you've had anything, even though you've just had a ton of calories.'
She added, 'That can make it hard to keep within your limits if you're really trying to lose weight and watch it for the summer.'
In general, the dietitian recommends drinking lots and lots of water. But if you're craving a juice, she said you should instead drink flavored seltzer water.
And in lieu of sugary wine or beer, the dietitian suggests mixing half a glass of dry wine with seltzer, or going for a vodka with club soda.
'In the summertime, you can get busy travelling -- or maybe you're at the beach or other areas where you may not always have meals available,' Popeck said.
But if you're hoping to lose weight this summer, it's vital to not skip any meals, according to the dietitian.
That may sound counterintuitive to those who assume that skipping meals leads to weight loss. But in reality, not eating can actually lead to weight gain in the long-term.
'What can happen is if you're going long periods of time without eating, it can make your body go into starvation mode, where it slows down your metabolism,' Popeck said.
The dietitian recommends people eat every five hours or so.
'It can prevent you from overeating or getting over hungry at the end of the day,' She said.
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