Two of the best foods to aid weight loss by controlling appetite are porridge and soup. However, during the summer months nobody really wants to have a hot bowl of porridge for breakfast or a steaming bowl of soup for lunch.
The easy option is often to resort to processed breakfast cereals or toast for breakfast or sandwiches for lunch. These food choices can play havok with blood sugar levels and result in weight gain.
The key to losing weight in the summer, like any time of the year, is to continue to eat a balanced diet but one which helps you to curb your appetite while still providing all the nutrients that you and your body need to continue to grow strong and function in a healthy way.
How Do We Lose Weight?
Just to recap, weight loss is guaranteed if you consume fewer calories than your body needs in any given day. If you are very active (going to the gym, running, swimming, walking everywhere) you may need around 2500 Calories a day. If you only only consume 1500 Calories a day for a week, and remain active every day without fail, then you will lose around 2 pounds (1 kg) of fat in that week. This is a caclulation based on human biology and it has been tested and found to be true in studies.
However, these facts seem to contradict the experiences of so many people, which is usually summed up with the words;
“I have tried every diet and none work, I always put the weight back on afterwards”.
If you cannot handle the truth then look away now! This is a typical excuse made by people who have never actually tried to lose weight hard enough. Yes, plans have been read and the first stage may have been followed, but very soon the diet plan and the exercise routines are “modified” by the dieter, generally in the form of additional food (“because it is still healthy”) and less exercise (“because I felt that it was too much for my fitness level”).
To lose weight you really must cut those calories and do that exercise. It is not easy, but then that is precisely the reason why so many people struggle and why the NHS is overburdened with obese patients with diabetes, strokes and other obesity related illnesses.
So, you MUST cut the calories and eat a healthy diet, AND exercise on a regular basis, which means exercise at least 4 times a week, and ideally every day. Government guidance to maintain a healthy body may be to exercise 5 times a week for 30 minutes, but if you need to lose weight then you need to do more than someone just maintaining a healthy weight.
The Original Summer Diet Plan
The summer diet plan is quite simple – just eat low GI fruits and vegetables which are in season, and ideally grown locally.
All high density calorie foods must be eliminated – so no bread, pasta, rice and especially no chocolate, sweets or sugar based drinks.
Buy fruits and vegetables and eat these every day. Replace bread, pasta and potatoes with freshly grown produce which will work your digestive system harder and help you to feel full for longer.
For protein chicken and eggs are still at the top of the list. In the summer make chicken and egg salads with plenty of healthy greens. Always steam or grill vegetables rather than boil or fry, as this retains their nutrients and flavour and does not result in such great losses in vitamins.
Salad really is the best summer meal though, especially when you ensure that it is always varied and fresh. With salads you can make something different every day – summer eating can be more varied and more interesting than cold weather food.
Smoothies are a good way to consume all your fruits in one go. They are packed with energy so be careful not to go overboard with smoothies, but certainly include them in your weekly meal plan.
Fruit can be eaten with any meal too and as a snack. For breakfast fresh fruit on its own is a real treat, or fruit salads, fruit with oats (home made muesli is a good option) and fruits for desserts.
The key is to eat a healthy diet without over consuming. If you are a very active 25 year old woman you will need around 2350 Calories on the days you are most active, although only 1900 Calories on days when you do not exercise at all.
Summer is here and weight loss is possible. Just do not expect miracles in a short time – weight loss should take a long time to achieve as only by experiencing your own weight loss journey can you truly understand the difficulties that others go through.
The New Summer Diet and Workout Plan
In case you had not noticed Summer is finally here. Fortunately there are still a few weeks before the holidays start so you do have time to shape up ready to put on your swimming costumes and head to the beach!
The most important rule when losing weight for a special event is to start early. All too often people come to us in a panic as they are 2 weeks from a special day and need to lose an impossible amount of weight in that time.
If you have 20 pounds to lose then you should give yourself at least 10 weeks to lose that weight and then maintain the weight loss. Although faster weight loss is possible you will tend to rely on methods which are not sustainable in the long term. So keep it simple, make it regular and learn to be healthy.
The Diet Plan
One of the most successful dieting methods is a combination of low GI diet and lean proteins. Maintaining a balanced diet is vital when you are losing weight. Too little protein and your muscles will waste away, too little carbohydrate and you will starve your brain of energy and also prompt muscle wastage. Good diet and nutrition is vital for weight loss.
The basic idea it to cut out all low GI foods, which includes white bread, soft cooked pasta, white rice, cakes, biscuits, chocolate, candy and soda. You should also avoid all processed foods as these often contain large amounts of sugar, fat and salt and limited nutrients.
Some simple rules you should also follow are:
- Eat protein with each meal – protein helps manage appetite
- Eat at least 5 portions of fruit and vegetables every day
- Low GI vegetables should make up 75% of your carbohydrate intake
- Consume soup for lunch to help you feel fuller
The Exercise Plan
Now, exercise is a funny topic. There are so many ways to exercise, but in all honesty there is only one rule to follow – exercise often and exercise well.
By this we mean simply that to lose weight in a month, for instance, you need to ensure that you are maintain a calorie deficit every day of the week. If you only have a short time to lose weight then you really need to make every day count. We are providing 2 workout plans, one for people with access to a gym and one for those without.
The Gym Goers Workout Plan
For cardio the 2 best pieces of equipment in the gym are the cross trainer / elliptical and the rowing machine. Both work the whole body and both allow you to burn a lot of calories while utilising many muscles.
Each trip to the gym should first involve 30 minutes using one of these machines and ideally alternating with each gym visit.
This cardio session should then be followed by some weight training to help tone and strengthen muscles and also to encourage more muscle development. These weight training workouts will not be too intensive as the cardio beforehand will leave you feeling tired. In each workout perform one of these routines, ideally cycling through them:
Perform each website as 3 sets of 10 repetitions with about 30 seconds rest between each set and a couple of minutes rest between each set of exercises.
- Leg press
- Chest Press
- Lat Pull Downs
- Leg extension
- Reverse leg curl
- Shoulder press
- Chest flyes
- Tricep kickbacks or tricep extensions (whichever you are most comfortable with)
These two routines will allow you to alternate them each day.
To start with keep the lights weight so that your muscles are not too fatigued, this allows you to do a daily workout.
The Home Workout Option
The home workout option follows a similar structure to the gym workout. For the cardio exercise you need to start running (or walking / jogging). If you do not feel comfortable running in your neighbourhood then find somewhere where you can go and jog or take a brisk walk.
The second part of the workout will be a bodyweight circuit that you can do at home. For each exercise aim to perform the number stated. If you really cannot perform them all at once then skip and come back to them. Cycle through this routine 3 times (do 3 circuits).
- 50 Squats
- 50 Jumping Jacks
- 20 Lunges (10 on each side)
- 20 Knee Ups
- 20 heel kicks (kick your heels up to touch your hand behind your bum)
- 10 Push ups (either full or do them on your knees)
- 20 squat thrusts
- 20 back extensions
This workout will be very hard for the fist week. Do as much as you can even if you have to pause for 30 seconds between each repetition. The jumping jacks are really a radio exercise, if you do not do the daily walk/jog then you should do more of these.
The squats and push ups are both very important exercises so really try to perform all the repetitions. Remember, this is your daily workout, so if it takes 45 minute to complete do not worry. No pain, no gain (or weight loss!).
The Yoga and Bodyweight Summer Workout Plan
Hopefully you have now got fitter by exercising everyday over the winter and Spring months since the end of the holiday season. So now you should be able to do 2 workouts each day.
Every morning you should do your cardio workout, ideally before breakfast. Comprising of 45 minutes of cardio, with the last 15 minutes including at least 3 intensive sprint intervals to really get the heart rate up and your lungs panting. Breakfast should be lean and could include either an egg or a banana.
Lunch time is salad time, only add olive oil as a dressing, with tuna or chicken (without the skin). Ensure you only chose those low GI vegetables for the salad. Lettuce, rocket and watercress are all excellent options.
Evening supper should be very light also, so that you can then do an evening workout. This should include one of the following:
- Yoga routine / other callisthenics
- Circuit training routine
- Weight training routine (push/pull session, or upper/lower body session – split those workouts)
These evening sessions should only be 20-30 minutes long, as you are exercising twice a day. Warm up with a few movements then do the work sets. With weight training especially split your routines to allow yourself to workout everyday.
If you are a very keen weight lifter then you will need to take rest days as you will be lifting heavier weights.
After your evening session have a light protein snack (fish, eggs etc.) or a protein shake. But not both.
Drink plenty of water throughout the day and watch the weight come off and your muscles tone up and strengthen in time for the beach holidays.