If you've got a job that keeps you outdoors in the summer, trying to keep weight on in the summer can be difficult. Weight loss in the summer can be a real problem for those who work on a daily basis in the heat or participate in extreme sports in the summer. My husband worked in humid heat outdoors for more than five years. The heat was excrutiating and often took a huge toll on his body. We would purchase any product that came along that advertised that it kept you cool in the summer. We stocked electrolyte drinks by the case full. Still, keeping weight on remained a constant struggle.
When you spend a good part of the day in the heat, eating food in general can be a huge problem. I know the struggle. To try to eat can be so difficult. You just aren't hungry, or can't bring yourself to eat. For some reason, summer is a struggle for me. And this summer especially where I am on some dietary restrictions it can be even harder to motivate myself to want to eat anything. Eating out is hard, eating in takes so much time and on a hot summer day I just give up.
There are some great ways to help stay hydrated and keep weight on in the summer. Here are some things we found that help:
Enduracool Cooling Towel: This has been one of my husband's favorite products for the summer. It is a lifesaver on those hot days when you are stuck in the sun. We found our towel at Lowe's but stores like Target also carry them. In fact, last year when we went to Lowe's to buy one we had to wrestle one from a contractor buying them for his road crew. He raved about how much his workers loved them.
Hydration: Sports drinks are a great option to replace electrolytes and lost fluids but we've also found that coconut water can be a great option too. It's a little more pricey but alternating some coconut water in with other electrolyte drinks and water can be a great addition in the fight to stay hydrated.
Foods to Help Gain Weight:
We found some great foods to help gain weight. Most of these foods are easy summer foods that are the perfect summer time staples.
Avocado: Avocado is a great food staple for summer. Whip up some guacamole and enjoy with chips or make an avocado BLT. (I have a difficult time tolerating bread in the summer. Not sure why but the texture makes me want to gag. Try making the sandwich on a bagel thin or sandwich thin to help).
Bananas: Bananas are a great way to replace potassium and other needed vitamins and minerals and are often a great suggestion for runners as a post workout snack.
Protein Drinks: Protein drinks are a good suggestion for keeping on weight and often drinking a meal in liquid form in the heat is easier than trying to eat a meal. I love Bolthouse Farm Protein Plus ; which gives me the fruit sugar I need after a workout while also giving me a decent amount of protein. You can find it at Walmart by the juices.
Whole Dairy: Switching to whole dairy products for awhile while you put on weight isn't a bad solution and there are a lot of products that work great in the summer. Cottage cheese, yogurt (I take a cup and freeze it than enjoy it as a frozen yogurt dessert), milk (add some chocolate syrup if you need to) and cheese are all great ways to get some calcium, fat and protein in your diet.
Whole Grains: Switching to whole grains often gives a lot more fiber and bulk to your meals. Brown rice, whole wheat bread and oatmeal are great options. We switch our hot oatmeal out for overnight oats in the summer. We love this collection of recipes and this one too. Granola is another great option and easy to munch on during the day. Whole wheat pasta is also a great option. Some varieties of pasta offer higher protein too. Barilla offers a line of high protein pastas.
Nuts: Nuts and seeds are a great way to add some protein and healthier fat into your diet. Pumpkin, almond, walnuts, pecans and sunflower seeds are great options as well as nut butters.
Oils: Oils are important in your diet too. Use coconut, olive, or canola oil when baking. We often make a vinigarette and toss some whole wheat pasta, chicken, and grilled vegetables together to make a pasta salad and top it with a little bit of feta or goat cheese.
Fruits: Fruits are also a great way to put on weight and to keep your body fueled with some calories. Smoothies and 100% juice (we love Santa Cruz and RW Knudsen brands) are good choices. Dried fruit is another good option. Mix some dried fruits with nuts and you've got a great portable trail mix you can much on during the day. We also enjoy frozen fruit bars.
Easy Protein: Easier to digest proteins are also a great option for the summer months. Lean meats are a good option as well as soybeans, eggs, and for some protein bars (we are Clif protein bar fans). And don't forget the beans!
Treats: Yes, sometimes the ONLY thing that sound good is a treat. Okay, for me everyday a treat sounds good no matter how awful I feel. There are great products on the market like Coconut Bliss that may offer healthier fat ice cream products. There are also some great frozen yogurt bars on the market too like Yasso. Most of these can be found at your local health food store or your local grocery store. Note: I didn't say HEALTHY.
What kinds of products help you keep the weight on during the summer months? Do you struggle with weight loss in the summer?
Disclaimer: I am not a medical doctor and am NOT giving medical advice. If you have experienced a loss of hunger accompanied with quick weight loss in the summer (>3lb/week), please check with your doctor. Extreme weight loss can lead to a variety of different health problems including kidney, cardiovascular, metabolism and vitamin and mineral loss. Only your doctor can help diagnose you with this or other health conditions.
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