Spring is just around the corner and if you’ve always suspected that weight loss is easier in warmer weather, you might be on to something. In a study of nearly 600 adults, published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, daily calorie consumption was higher by almost 90 calories per day during the fall compared to the spring. These findings echo those from a 1991 University of Georgia study, which found that participants ate about 200 more calories per day in autumn.
According to the Institute of Medicine, researchers hypothesize that because bodily functions like digestion generate heat, the body must work extra hard in warm weather to cool down from these activities. In order to reduce the body’s workload, biological responses that suppress appetite are triggered in higher temps, causing us to consume fewer calories.
This is a nice little bonus if you’re considering kicking off your weight loss journey this season. Follow these five spring weight loss tips to ensure you maximize your weight loss results.
Here are five weight loss tips to get you ready for spring and summer weather:
Read on for all the details on spring weight loss:
1. Fill up on fresh, seasonal produce.
Diet study after diet study confirms it: Increased fruit and vegetable intake is associated with increased weight loss and fat loss success, according to the Journal of the American Dietetic Association. That’s because most of these foods are high in fiber yet low in calories and fat. This helps keep you feeling full despite their small caloric load. Plus, they’re perfect weight loss foods packed with nutrients your body needs to stay healthy and active.
While we love our fruits and veggies all year round, prepping can be a bit time consuming during the winter months. Much of the cold weather produce tastes best cooked and requires peeling, tossing, spicing and roasting. The great thing about spring produce is that much of it can be eaten as is, making it easier to find quick and delicious diet foods and snacks that are low in calories and chock-full of nutrition for weight loss.
Hit the local farmers market to snag some fresh produce for a big, colorful salad or stir fry, or chop up and portion out for individual snack servings. Slice up some cucumbers, carrots, celery and bell peppers to enjoy with hummus. Chop some apples and bananas to dip in a tablespoon of your favorite nut butter. We also love dunking fresh strawberries in yogurt.
And do yourself a favor: Leave your fresh finds out on the counter or front and center in your fridge. According to the peer-reviewed journal, Health Education & Behavior, the presence of fruit in plain sight was linked to lower Body Mass Index (BMI) in study participants.
While what’s in season will depend upon your location and climate, here’s a general list of spring produce, according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA):
2. Take advantage of the spring temps.
Winter, with its frigid temps and long, dark days, doesn’t exactly lend itself to outdoor activities. When summer hits and the temps start to soar, getting outside can be a bit problematic as well.
Spring days contain beautiful sunshine and refreshing, light winds, making it the perfect time to get outside. Take advantage of the warmth and go for a long stroll at the local park or around your neighborhood. Get going on that garden or chase those cute kids (or grandkids!) around in a game of tag. Enjoy some fun, outdoor home workouts and keep yourself outside and moving in the beautiful weather. You’ll burn calories and soak up some of that much-needed vitamin D that’s been so hard to get all winter.
3. Step up your spring cleaning.
There’s a reason you’re exhausted after you clean the house. All that movement means you’re expending lots of energy and burning calories. That’s right, according to the Calorie Control Council, a 150-pound person can burn more than 130 calories doing the following cleaning tasks for an hour:
- Laundry/folding clothes
- Washing the car
Looking to boost your burn? Tackle one of the to-dos below this spring. The same sized person can burn more than 270 calories doing an hour of any of them:
- Mopping/scrubbing floors
- Mowing the lawn
- Washing the windows
If you really want to set yourself up for weight loss success, make sure to give your fridge and pantry a deep clean, too. According to the peer-reviewed journal, Health Education & Behavior, leaving candy, cereal and soft drinks visible on kitchen counters is linked to weight gain. Study subjects were found to weigh as much as 30 pounds more than those who kept those foods out of their sight line. If that’s not motivation to chase away those dust bunnies and purge that pantry, we don’t know what is!
4. Give your wardrobe a refresh.
We all have them: Those extra baggy clothes we keep way in the back corner of our closet “just in case we need them some day.” However, holding on to clothes that are two sizes too big is telling yourself that there is a chance you will regain the weight you’re working so hard to lose. Why set yourself up for weight loss failure?
Take a few hours to do a full closet cleanout, removing any clothes you haven’t worn in the past year. Consider bagging them up and donating them—many organizations will send a driver to your house to pick up any gently used clothing you’d like to donate.
Once you’ve finished streamlining your closet, consider treating yourself to a new top or spring dress that makes you feel great no matter where you’re at in your weight loss journey. Springtime blooms in retail stores almost as much as it does in gardens. There’s nothing like a new piece of clothing in a bright spring color to motivate you to keep working toward your weight loss diet goal.
5. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.
Research suggests that drinking water before a meal may result in fewer calories consumed at that meal, says Medical News Today. This is great news considering that the warmer it gets outside, the more fluids we lose through our sweat. Perspiration typically leads to thirst and dehydration. Use this thirst to your weight loss advantage this spring. Load up on water a few minutes before you start eating and make sure to drink up throughout the day. If you need a flavor boost, try adding mint, a squeeze of lemon or even fresh cucumbers or berries to your water. On Nutrisystem, we recommend drinking at least 64 ounces of water each day.
Homemade smoothies are a delicious and healthy way to up your fluid intake. We like blending Nutrisystem Protein and Probiotic Shake mix with water or low-fat milk, frozen fruit and fresh greens for a deliciously creamy smoothie that quenches thirst while delivering lots of nutritional value.
Need some recipe inspiration to get you started? Check out the Smoothies & Drink section right here on The Leaf Weight Loss Blog for tons of healthy smoothie recipes our customers love.