The five most common causes of summer weight gain that totally sneak up on you

But don't worry, we also know how to avoid it without feeling like you're missing out.
Published July 17, 2019 9:47 a.m. EST
Last Updated July 17, 2019 9:47 a.m. EST
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While it's common to believe that putting on a few extra pounds usually only happens in the winter, it's also normal for it to happen during summer. Naturopath Natasha Turner shared five causes of summer weight gain that may surprise you.

Though the warmer months are when we tend to be more active, there are also many more opportunities for unhealthy intakes. From BBQ hotdogs to lots of ice cream, suddenly an average summer weekend can turn into consuming hundreds of unneeded extra calories. With a few healthier alternatives, you can easily get back on track and still enjoy the warm weather with tasty treats!

UMBRELLA DRINKS

Though cold umbrella cocktails are super tempting during this time of year, you definitely don't want to be sipping on them every day. An average Piña Colada or Long Island Iced Tea can range from 600 to 800 calories. 

Try this instead: Rather than going crazy on cocktails, opt for high protein appetizers. A plate of calamari or shrimp cocktail is just as much of a treat, minus the extra sugar. If you can't shake the mood for a mixed drink, gin or vodka with fresh lime or soda are the best low-calorie options. Asking for a short glass with lots of ice is another way to cool off without having too much alcohol. 

FRUIT

As surprising as it may sound, fruit isn't always a "healthy" option. Even though it seems like a good choice, canned fruit topped with whipped cream and garnishes are high in sugar. These items are common for summer picnics or BBQs.

Try this instead: Always choose fresh fruit over canned fruit and try to substitute whipped cream with plain yogurt. When it comes to types of fruit, berries, watermelon, grapefruit and kiwi are your best options. 

BBQ BURGERS

As delicious as a juicy burger sounds, a regular beef burger topped with cheese contains high levels of sodium, calories and saturated fat. Though it's a great pool-side or BBQ meal, there are a few adjustments you can make to enjoy your burger guilt-free!

Try this instead: Grass-fed beef is a great alternative to regular beef burgers. Adding cheese doesn't have to be an unhealthy option, especially if you opt for swiss cheese which has been proven to be anti-inflammatory. If you're in the mood to cut the bun, wrap your burger in lettuce rather than bread. You'd be surprised how good a lettuce-wrapped burger can taste, especially with a little bit of cajun mayo!

FROZEN YOGURT

Though frozen yogurt had a claim to fame for being a healthier alternative to ice cream, it has tons of added sugar, especially when you pack on the toppings. While frozen yogurt contains some protein, it's usually over 400 calories per cup and can contain as much as 26 grams of fat. 

Try this instead: Greek yogurt is a better alternative that have less added sugar and less grams of fat while also having more protein. Rather than opting for frozen yogurt with sugary toppings, choose greek yogurt and pair it with fresh fruit. 

CHIPS AND DIP

It's easy to lose track of how many chips you've eaten. One minute you're opening the bag and the next minute, it's finished. Fat and calories from chips can add up quickly, especially when you're using a creamy dip. One ounce of potato chips contains about 150 calories. Mindlessly eating three times this amount is a no brainer when you're watching a movie or hanging out with friends.

Try this instead: Lentil or quinoa chips are a tasty alternative to regular potato chips because they're high in protein and have much less salt. You won't feel guilty after finishing a whole bag! For a healthy and tasty dip, combine the following ingredients in a blender or food processor:

  • 3 cups of baby spinach
  • 400g low fat ricotta
  • 1 diced small red onion
  • 1/2 cup low fat parmesan
  • 2 tbsp Greek yoghurt
  • 1 crushed clove of garlic
  • 1 tsp olive oil