During the summer season, days are longer, life is simpler and food and drink is abundant. Summertime is an easy and festive time of year. In my 30 years of working in the weight loss industry, I’ve realized that the two months each year people gain the most weight are, December and August. By August the eating challenges of the summer season have become so overwhelming and people tend to give into temptations.

This year you can be prepared for the challenges, face them head on and persevere. First acknowledge your challenges, and then have healthy summertime habits to carry you through the four major summertime challenges.

Festivities and celebrations:

The summer season opens with various celebrations. It’s now prime wedding season, along with graduations, proms and bridal showers. Each of these celebrations is a happy and exciting occasion, and each brings eating and drinking challenges.

  1. Increase water intake by drinking a cup of water before you drink any other fluids, including an alcoholic beverage.
  2. At each celebration rate all food being served from 1 to 10, with 1 being your least favorite food and 10 being your favorite. Eat only what you rate an 8, 9 or 10. Enjoy the food you rate highest, and leave out the food you consider mediocre.


According to a 2014 Trip Advisor survey, 89 percent of respondents take a summer vacation. Eating and drinking habits are very different while traveling then at home. Different food is available and the vacationer has a relaxed mindset.

  1. Proteins, fruits, and vegetables are sometimes ignored while traveling, opting for an overload of carbohydrates and sweets. Remember to include foods that nourish your body every day, helping you to eat well throughout the entire trip.
  2. Pack clothes that fit you well, are comfortable, and give you freedom of movement. Don’t bring clothes encouraging you to give up, and eat anything and everything.

Barbecues and get-togethers:

A summer get-together will usually begin in early afternoon and end in late evening hours. Food and drink are available for hours on end, and it becomes a day of constant eating. It is estimated that an average barbecue consists of just nearly 3,000 calories, and you could be attending get-togethers frequently.

  1. Be active at your summer get-togethers. Often there are sporting competitions you can take part in, if not, start one. Bring a ball for volleyball or organize a backyard race. Just get it started and others will join in. If there is a pool, go for a swim.
  2. Find a seat far from the food table. If you are not constantly in front of it, you will not continually eat. Sit with someone you can have a great conversation with. Less eating gets done when more socializing takes place.

Day-long outings… boating, beaches and picnics:

Packing food for a day on the boat or sitting in the sand will bring another set of challenges. The fresh air may make people feel hungry, and they often pack high-calorie snack food that does not need to stay cold.

  1. For these long days away from home, bring plenty of fruit. It’s refreshing and will help keep you hydrated in the hot sun. Fruit does not have to be kept in a cooler, although it will taste better if it is. If it’s previously been refrigerated be sure to place fruit in a cooler.
  2. Pack protein items such as chicken pieces or sandwiches. Protein will continually give you energy needed for the day-long outing. Limit snack food like chips with high salt content. Food with high salt content will make you bloated, and may cause you to be become dehydrated and less active.

Make healthy, happy, summertime memories everywhere you go.

Originally published at www.huffingtonpost.com