Reasons Losing Weight Is Easier in the Summer from 10 Reasons Losing Weight Is Easier in the Summer

10 Reasons Losing Weight Is Easier in the Summer

Reasons Losing Weight Is Easier in the Summer

Though people regularly make weight loss resolutions on New Year’s, there’s some evidence that their goals might be more attainable during summer months. We consulted several doctors, dietitians and other health professionals to understand why many people find it easier to shed pounds in the summer. 

More Exposure to Vitamin D

“Physiologically, a lot of things come together in the summer,” said Dr. Romy Block, an Endocrinologist, co-founder of Vous Vitamin and Assistant Clinical Professor, working in the Chicago area. “Our moods are lifted by the better weather and vitamin D levels go up with the sunshine. This lowers cortisol levels improving our moods further and increasing our energy.” Dr. Block also said that surplus of energy can be channeled into exercise and lower levels of cortisol typically speed up metabolism.

We Crave Different Foods

“The desire for heavy, hot, comfort food switches to light, fresh and easy meals when summer rolls around,” said Jenny Schatzle, a fitness expert and nutrition specialist based in Santa Barbara, Calif. “Trading high calorie hot chocolate, chili and casseroles for fresh fruit, salads and lean BBQ grilling saves on calories, salt and sugar.” Dr. Block said the winter cravings and weight gain are ingrained evolutionary habits, which were meant to help us survive long harsh winters.

Healthy Foods Are Fresh and Easily Available

“Cherries, peaches, watermelon, plums, squash, tomatoes...the availability of fresh produce makes it easier to eat fewer calories in summer,” said Registered Dietitian and Author Judy Barbe. “Even if people plant an herb to cook with they can improve flavor by reducing fat. If they garden, visit farmer’s markets, or belong to a CSA, the bounty that ends up on the table is usually lower in calories than say a crock pot of chili in winter.” On top of that, many people eat more raw food in the summer, or they grill, which is a healthier way to prepare food than many other cooking methods.

Summer Clothing is More Revealing

“When it’s the middle of winter and we have three sweaters, leggings and a jacket on, it doesn’t really matter what size we are because our stretchy and loose clothing is still going to fit,” said Houston-based Certified Health Coach Andrea Andrus. “Summer clothes tend to be smaller, tighter and less forgiving which keeps our weight at the forefront of our minds and our mirrors.”

There Are More Options for Being Active

“Not everyone likes to—or can afford to—work out inside a gym,” said Andrus. “Warmer weather means that even if we don’t have a gym membership, we still have many options for exercising whether it be at the park, a local school track or even just around the neighborhood.” More people swim in the summer (it’s a great low-impact workout) and people tend to schedule their workouts ahead of time to avoid the mid-day heat, which also helps them stick to it.

We're Less Reliant on Cars

It’s no coincidence that National Bike Month takes place in May, and National Running Day is in June—it’s much easier and more pleasant to be outside when there’s no snow on the ground. “Warmer weather tends to give us options in transportation,” said Vivian Eisenstadt, a physical therapist and personal trainer at Vivie Therapy in Los Angeles. “In the winter months even if we are going short distances we tend to get into our cars instead of walking or bike riding to our destination. When the weather is warmer, we don’t mind walking…We also want to get out of the house more in general.”

Longer Days

With summer sunlight lasting well past 8 p.m., as opposed to the winter days that “end” around 5 p.m., with the early sunset, people tend to feel like they can fit it all in during the summer months. “[It] helps us to feel like we can accomplish more when we get off work,” said Andrus. “People are more likely to make the time to exercise, rather than immediately go home and sit on the couch, when the sun is out [as] they leave the office.”

Summer Events Provide Motivation

From summer travel plans to major events, people often have some extra motivation to get fit during the summer. “Summer is Travel season…it is the time people travel to beach destinations where they want to bare more of their body and it provides more motivation to lose weight,” said Dr. Pouya Shapifour, a board certified obesity and weight loss doctor who runs his own clinic in Los Angeles. “[It’s] also ‘wedding season’ and no matter what part of wedding one is affiliated with, it provides more motivation to exercise and lose weight.”

Everyone’s Talking About It

“There are a lot of media and advertisement campaigns before summer to get people ready for the ideal ‘Beach Body’ and it gets people motivated to join a gym, hire a personal trainer, start a diet and lose weight,” said Dr. Shafipour. Gyms and fitness studios are offering classes with a focus on weight loss for summer and friends might be talking about it—people are responsive to these kinds of repetitive messages.

We Tend to Be Less Stressed

Several studies have associated the great outdoors with stress relief and summer is prime time to get outside. Since we know that high levels of stress are associated with weight gain, getting outside could help promote a healthier lifestyle. “Because stress levels fall when we're outside, the boost in feel-good hormones may reduce the likelihood We’ll eat something to stem stress,” said Barbe.