The 30 Best Things You Can Do This Summer to Jump Start Your Weight Loss Again

Just reading this will make you feel more motivated — and committed!

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From the best breakfast to fitting in dessert (daily) and cleaning up your kitchen, all the little things can make a big difference once you get on the scale.

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Wake up with water.

Drink 16 ounces of water when you wake up, says Good Housekeeping Institute's Nutrition Director Jaclyn London. "Optimizing hydration early in the day gets your day off on the right foot," she says.




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Buy a set of 5-pound weights.

Strength training builds lean muscle — and thus, burns more calories, even when you're sleeping, says . Do bicep curls, triceps pulls, squats and lunges.

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Grill your veggies.

"Grilling veggies means less opportunity for food to be dripping in oil or deep fried," says London. Plus, the BBQ adds a boost of yummy flavor. Veggies taste so different grilled, you'll want to load them on your plate.

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Choose fish over red meat.

Fatty fish (salmon, halibut, tuna) and shellfish (mussels, shrimp) are great sources of omega 3 fatty acids. Plus, they're a great source of lean protein. Grill them up and go to town.

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Use your iPhone to measure portions.

Make sure when you're eating meat or grains, your portion looks roughly the size of your iPhone, which will be about five ounces, says London. It's a good visual gauge for keeping serving sizes in check.

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Pack in the pre-biotics.

You've heard of probiotics, but pre-biotics supply a type of fiber that probiotics love to feast on, so they're key for a healthy bloat-free gut. Try artichokes, asparagus and bananas.


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Use a pretty plate every time you eat.

The trick can serve as a reminder to slow down, sit down and think about what you're eating. Besides, it makes every eating occasion a little bit more special.

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Relax more.

Everyone has stress, but chronic stress can make you more  to weight gain. Doing things that make you happy — like watching the sunset or chatting with a friend—can help you stay calm.

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Have a morning latte.

Opt for a low-, non-fat or soy latte as part of your breakfast, suggests London. "This can give you about 13 grams of protein in a 16-ounce beverage, which is great for rounding out a small breakfast," she says.

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Add produce to every meal and snack.

Throw a handful of spinach into your omelet, add sliced cucumbers and bell peppers to your sandwich or pair a plum with trail mix. Produce is loaded with nutrients and fiber, helping you fill up. 

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Cultivate a summer workout playlist.

Whether you like Beyonce or Coldplay, listening to the music you love can  to push harder in your workout (without feeling like you are) and go longer. Win!

 

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Have lunch al fresco.

Listening to the birds, feeling the breeze and basking in the warm summer sun can keep you mindful as you eat, which forces you to slow down and truly enjoy the meal.

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Skip summer TV.

The season isn't known for its great TV, so skip it altogether. Instead go outside: Take a bike ride, people watch from your front porch or take your dog to the park.

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Add a wine cube to your water.

Dropping in a frozen cube of wine into your cup of seltzer water or club soda is a great way to feel like you're sipping something special without drinking a ton of calories.

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Serve dinner out of reach.

Rather than putting food out on the table family-style, serve from the kitchen, suggests research from Cornell University. It helps prevent mindless picking and eating seconds when you're not really hungry.

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Scan the label.

Know what's in your food by reading nutrition labels at the grocery store. One sure-fire way to make healthy shopping a no-brainer: Look for the wherever you buy food.

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Ditch your gum habit.

While chewing gum can be a great way to sidestep sweet cravings, the sugar alcohols (ingredients ending in "ol" on the label) can make some people feel bloated. Know which camp you're in, and skip it if necessary.

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Add summer heat.

Spicy peppers and red chili flakes contain capsaicin, a compound linked to weight loss, says London. Grill up whole peppers on the grill, spice up guac and salsa, or throw chili flakes into a marinade for meat.

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Make fruit the star of dessert.

Try London's sweet treats: banana split (sliced banana with a tablespoon of nut butter and sprinkle of chocolate chips), baked apples in the microwave or berries with a dollop of ice cream. Also grill peaches, pineapple and plums for a twist on dessert.

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Read a beach book before bed.

Take a few minutes and flip open a light summer read. Good sleep is associated with maintaining a healthy weight, and a good wind-down routine with an easy book can help lull you to dreamland.

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Take a minute to sprint.

Doing short minute-long bouts of high-intensity intervals has been shown to improve health just as much as a longer workout, . Don't be afraid to push yourself!

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Try a toast-toppings flip.

Fruits and veggies are the new bread! Use apple slices as sandwich bread for nut butter, roast sweet potato slices and top with almond butter, or scoop out a SunGold kiwi and add cottage cheese.

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Grow an herb garden.

Basil, rosemary and mint are all delicious adds to boost the freshness of any meal. Gardening is also a bona fide exercise: 30 minutes "counts" as a moderate-intensity workout.

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Skip sugary summer beverages.

Soda has nearly 40 grams of sugar per can. Lemonade contains 28 grams of sugar per cup. Cut these where you can. "Sugar in beverage form doesn't fill us up — they just add unnecessary calories," says London.

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Shop the farmers market.

Discovering new-to-you fresh produce that's in season will make summer eating exciting. Try crispy kohlrabi, experiment with fava beans and buy mulberries. And remember: Always ask for samples.

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Walk after dinner.

A 10-minute stroll after each meal can help reduce blood sugar levels more effectively compared to walking a 30-minute block each day, shows . Get outside and enjoy the day.


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Treat yourself daily.

You have about 200 "free" calories daily where you can (and should) indulge, says London. Have an ice pop, fruity cocktail or scoop of ice cream. Enjoy it without guilt.

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Give your kitchen a fresh start.

Declutter countertops of snacky foods, like cereal and boxes of crackers. shows putting wayward food into cupboards can help you eat less of it.

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Switch to unsweetened dairy.

Some sweetened yogurts are so sugary you might as well be eating dessert. Buy unsweetened yogurt and plant-based milks. If you'd like, add fruit to your yogurt to naturally sweeten it yourself.

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Try an outdoor yoga class.

You can find them in parks, parking lots, rooftops and more. All levels of yogi are welcome, and you just may fall in love with something new. (Doesn't hurt that yoga  you maintain a healthy weight, right?)


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