Research says that summer months are best for weight loss. Your daily caloric intake decreases by 200 calories. The hot weather also influences your food choices, since we also tend to skip carb-heavy foods and stick to eating healthy. But for all those lazy bones among us, summers are the time of the year when some of our best-laid weight loss plans go for a toss. Who wants to sweat it out in the gym when it’ already scorching outside? Some of us have already thrown in the towel, choosing to enjoy the warm months staying indoors, sipping on cool sugary sodas and gorging on mangoes. Come June and we are no longer fitting into our favourite pair of jeans. It’s a summertime horror story!
But there’s no need to panic just as yet. Dr. Rajeshwari Shetty, Head of Dietetics, SL Raheja Hospital – A Fortis Associate recommends some important tips to help you shed some pounds in the sultry summer months.
What to Eat
Inarguably the second best part about summers is melons (first is mango, sorry!). It’s the time to relish watermelons, cantaloupes and muskmelons. Dr. Shetty says, “You should opt for fruits and vegetables with more water content. These foods help to keep you on the correct path to weight loss. Melons are good hydrators and taste great. They can be eaten without guilt.”
Zucchini or courgette is a squash, available widely during the summer months. Dr. Shetty recommends filling up on them during summer months because they are packed with fibre and water. “They act as a filler, keeping you fuller for longer,” she adds. Instead of carb-rich pasta and noodles, try low-carb zucchini noodles.
Delicious and nutritious, tomatoes are available throughout the year in India. But they are particularly good for summer months because they are replete in potassium, which helps in managing fluid levels, according to Dr. Shetty. “Apart from their rich water content, tomatoes are also full of the cancer-fighting ingredient lycopene,” she says.
Corn on the Cob
You don’t have to wait for the rainy reasons to enjoy a bhutta. Corn makes for a great weight loss snack during the summer months too. “Corn is rich in fibre and carbohydrates,” says Dr. Shetty. The fibre keeps you full and the carbs provide you adequate energy.
Palak or spinach is one of the most nutritionally dense green leafy vegetables, which works great for weight loss. “Loaded with nutrients, spinach is also low in calories,” says Dr. Shetty.
Omega 3 fatty acids are an important tool for weight loss and walnuts happen to be one of its best sources. “Nuts in general act as an added source of nutrients. They contain certain amounts of protein and good fats.
Bananas is high in fibre and resistant starch, both of which can aid weight loss. They are the perfect fruits for summer since it helps restore potassium that you lose through excessive sweating.
Summers are a great time to relish cucumbers. It helps in weight loss since it’s rich in fibre. “It also has a cooling effect on the body due to its high water content. Fibre-rich cucumbers also aids in keeping your stomach full and kill your junk food cravings,” adds Dr. Shetty.
Limes and lemons
You can’t think of summers without delicious citruses like limes, oranges, lemons and sweet limes. Dr. Shetty says, “These fruits are members of the citrus family, which can add more flavour to your food and beverages. Importantly, they are not loaded with calories. Along with fibre and protein, flavour is also needed to achieving weight-loss. They can keep you full, but flavour is what keeps you going. Squeezing some lemon or lime onto a salad can make it easier to cut back on sodium, or fat-loaded dressings.”
What to Drink
Dr. Shetty stresses on the importance of hydration in weight management. “In a study, it was found that a lack of proper hydration was associated with higher Body Mass Index. Being dehydrated can create havoc with your mental, physical and emotional health. Several studies have shown that attention, memory and mood can be damaged, and physical distress such as headaches, constipation and kidney problems can be triggered due to dehydration.
“People who choose water instead of sugary drinks gain weight at a much slower rate. Normally, people feel less hungry after filling up on water. It is said that one has to drink at least 8-10 glasses of water every day,” says Dr. Shetty.
Keeping yourself hydrated is an important prerequisite for weight loss. You can supersize the weight loss properties of regular water by infusing it with herbs like mint, carom seeds (ajwain) and ginger. The herb-infused water quells hunger and keeps you hydrated.
Moong Pani and Vegetable Soups
Hydrating vegetable soups and lentil stock like moong ka pani are great for the summers because they also provide nutrition and keep your body clean from within.
"In an effort to lose weight, we can succumb to many summer-time temptations, " says Dr. Shetty. Weight loss during summer may be easier, but it's a slippery slope if you fall prey to sugary-sweet beverages like colas, cold coffees and energy drinks and indulge in fattening ice creams during the summer months. Opt for low calorie dressings for salads and steer clear from the creamy ones. Avoid caffeinated beverages like teas and coffees that can leave you dehydrated. Most importantly, keep yourself hydrated, eat fresh and exercise portion control.
(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Apr 10, 2018 02:02 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).