The winter is often known as a common time for weight gain, from days planned around celebratory meals to snow being on the ground. However, the summer can cause just as many problems for our eating habits and workout routines.
There are many reasons why young people can gain weight over the summer. At Camp Pocono Trails, the leading summer camp for weight loss and fitness, we’ve rounded up the top six reasons young people gain weight over the summer and how to get back on your weight loss plan.
Reason #1: falling out of your normal routine.
For young people especially, most of us have a normal routine of waking up, going to class and being away from easy access to food for most of the day. We enjoy structured sports activities like gym, tennis, or after school soccer. With the lazy days of summer in full swing, it can be difficult to establish a healthy routine. We are no longer away from the refrigerator for most of the day and it’s easy to fall into a habit of snacking and laying around by the pool.
Our first suggestion is to start your day with a brisk walk or quick jog. While it is okay to relax over the summer, at least start your day off right with some healthy activity. To further your healthy start, pick a sensible breakfast and stick with it through the summer and you will start your day off right.
Reason #2: The heat of the summer makes it more difficult to exercise outdoors.
During the summertime, many of us are already sweating from the heat of the summer weather. The notion of going outside to exercise is a little bit too much for us to manage.
Our solution to this issue is to pick a setting to work out where the temperature is a little more manageable. Join the gym for the summer and recruit some friends to go with you and set a specific time for each day. Habits are easier to keep if you make a commitment with friends and there is a social aspect.
Reason #3: High calorie drinks and celebratory Foods.
During the summer, many of us switch from more healthy drinks such as water to sports drinks, lemonade, and of course alcohol. With the heat of the summer we often resort to liquid refreshment.
One way to combat this is to remember the importance of water for hydration. Keep a water bottle handy at all times. Making yourself drink water even when you are not thirsty will combat dehydration and lessen the chance of reaching for that glass of high sugar lemonade when you are dehydrated.
Reason #4: Eating out at weddings and parties.
It is well known that the summer is when most weddings occur, and many parties are set during the summer months as well.
Our solution is to not attend any event without a plan. Write down what you are going to limit yourself to before heading out the door. You can also fill up on low caloric density foods such as a salad with fat-free dressing or eat an apple or other fruit before attending your event. Additionally, walking around with a bottle of water or a plate with low caloric density foods is a good way to avoid the quick temptation of divulging in sweets or other snacks that would take you off your current diet plan.
Reason #5: Forgetting about our goals.
When we are away from friends at school, it’s easy to forget about our future goals. The summer often means catching up on the TV shows on Netflix we haven’t had time to watch over the school year because we were focused our out goals studying for our next exam.
To combat this issue, keep your goals posted in your room and read them every day. Ask yourself each morning, “What can I do today to keep on track with my goals?” You will find that your productivity will increase and your opportunity for mindless activity such as binge watching TV with your favorite snack will be less.
Reason #6: Eating to deal with boredom.
Lack of structure and easy access to food while not in school is a top reason why many people overeat during the summer months, especially for young people. During the summer, our access to friends is limited and boredom is a common result. Before grabbing that bag of chips, ask yourself if you are really hungry or if you are simply eating because you have nothing else to do.
Combat this temptation by creating a list of accomplishments you want to achieve during the summer. This might be reading several books, studying for college entrance exams call, or volunteering at a local nonprofit. If you find yourself engaging in mindless eating, you need to find activities that stimulate your brain so that you can remain focused on your health and overall well-being.
Bonus step: enroll in a structured health and fitness camp to really energize your weight loss journey.
At Camp Pocono Trails, the leading health and wellness camp in the United States, we helped hundreds of young people every summer stay on track with their weight loss goals. Activities range from nutrition two culinary classes and activities include water skiing, zip lines, Zumba, yoga, tennis, water activities and more.