By Ayotunde Adeyeri, MD
Many overweight people dread the summer ? there is no hiding under layers of sweaters and you are forced to deal with the heat head-on. Here’s my advice for those of you looking to lose a little or a lot of weight. Don’t let the summer sun make you miserable. Instead, use it to your advantage and start your weight loss effort now!
Exercise is an important component of any loss plan. But for significantly obese people, conventional exercise advice can be hard to follow. To avoid becoming discouraged, take a gradual approach. Start with just 10-15 minutes of light exercise three to four days a week then slowly increase the duration and frequency.
Not only is it important to drink water to stay hydrated, but it also promotes weight loss! Consuming a glass or two of water (frost your glass in the freezer, add some slices of citrus or mint) before each meal will help reduce your caloric intake. Enjoy summer fruits, such as watermelon, which are high in water content and low in calories and fat. Green tea is another great weight loss aid and an antioxidant as well. It also provides a natural and healthy supply of caffeine, which speeds metabolism and curbs hunger.
- Dieting does not mean giving up your favorite foods. Rather than instituting an abrupt, restrictive diet, start with some small, healthy changes to your current diet:
- Choose one unhealthy food that you eat often and replace it with a healthier substitute.
- Rather than eliminating foods, try adding more nutritious foods to each meal and eat those first.
- Enjoy the fresh fruits and vegetables of summer. Stop by the farmer’s market and select some fresh-off-the-vine, flavor-packed choices that are especially delicious now such as fresh greens, tomatoes, berries, beans, peaches, cherries, melons…
- Focus on long-term changes to improve your lifestyle, think “new lifestyle, not new diet.”
Losing weight this summer may be as simple as getting outside. Safe (SPF 30+ every day, sun or clouds) sun exposure is a great way to increase your vitamin D levels, which studies have shown can help slim your waistline. Protected sunlight also provides increased serotonin levels to boost your mood and may even reduce your craving for food, studies show.
Ready to lose weight this summer? Great! Before starting, check with your family doctor if you are significantly overweight, have any chronic medical conditions or haven’t exercised in several years. There are still many glorious days of summer ahead. Make the most of every day.
Board certified and fellowship trained laparoscopic surgeon specializing in minimally invasive weight loss and gastrointestinal procedures Ayotunde Adeyeri, MD, is medical director of the Institute for Weight Loss at Raritan Bay Medical Center, Old Bridge, NJ. The Institute provides individualized medical and surgical solutions and support for individuals seeking weight loss, who have been unable to lose weight through conventional dieting, exercise or weight loss medication. To attend a seminar or make an appointment, call 855.TIME.4.ME.
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