While many think of winter as a time
when we both literally and figuratively go into hibernation, and in
the process pack on a few extra pounds, it turns out that the summer
months can be just as punishing to our waistlines.
“We’re all trying to get into our
bathing suit bodies,” Dr. Ryan Fuller, a clinical psychologist
at New York Behavioral Health, tells the Voice. “The pressure makes us more likely
to over consume.”
And there are so many ways for us to
overeat without even noticing. Summer BBQs, family reunions, picnics
in the park and frozen treats nearly every day when it’s hot. Add the
fact that we recently experienced a near debilitating heat wave a few
weeks back and you have people consuming a lot of calories in between
their regular meals.
So what’s the deal with all this over consumption?
Dr. Fuller found, through treating patients who struggled with weight loss, that many people are ill-prepared for the many food options available during the summer months. People are more resolute during the fall and winter because they anticipate holidays such as Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. While nearly every gym advertisement and women’s magazine cover is talking about how to lose weight leading up to the summer, the general public is completely unaware that they should be just as mindful during these months.
While more of the population still struggles with overeating during the colder months, there is a significant minority population for whom the summer is the hardest time to avoid packing on the pounds.
“These people are at an even greater disadvantage than most,” Dr. Fuller says. “Because they are not expecting the summer to be a difficult time for them, they are completely unaware of how much they’re really eating and the high number of calories they have consumed.”
So what can you do if the heat gets you salivating? The Doc gave us five quick tips on
how to curb the calories so you can still fit into you daisy dukes.
1) Recognize triggers. It’s
important that you know what your food triggers are so that you can
make a plan to either avoid them or moderate your intake. These
could be anything from desserts to alcohol, depending on the person.
2) Sitting vs. Standing. For some people standing while eating makes it slightly more difficult to recognize not only what they’re consuming but also how much. Sitting at a table while eating a meal encourages awareness and helps you to better determine fullness.
3) Plan Ahead. If you’re headed to a cookout, or a friend’s rooftop party, bring some healthy eating options with you. Being prepared will make you less likely to over consume while partying and leave you with less food-guilt afterwards.
4) Stalk Your Friend’s Plate. OK so this may sound creepy, but it’s actually helpful. Try to mimic the eating behavior of one of your friends whose known to be pretty balanced. It’s like having a food-spirit guide.
5) Be Realistic. Don’t set super-strict eating guidelines for yourself, because it will only lead to a failure and then even worse over-eating. If you love hamburgers don’t resolve to not have any. Instead, make a compromise: trade dessert or several beers for one beloved burger.