Tips for Your Summer Weight Loss Plan


Summer has arrived! This means vacations and lots of outdoor festivities!

Summer is also the easiest time of year to lose weight. An abundance of daylight, outdoor activities, and fresh fruits and vegetables all contribute to easy weight loss.

But don’t get caught in these traps!

1) The snack trap!  With summer barbecues come lots of chips, dips, & appetizers. Did you know that a serving of chips is usually between 9 and 16 chips; and that a serving of dip is usually two tablespoons? Go ahead and taste, but step away from the table to have a conversation.

Avoid sitting down in front of these yummy temptations! This can lead to mindless eating and lots of unwanted calories.

2)  Use this strategy at vacation buffets. Cruises and hotels offer wonderful buffets. However, when I have a choice between ordering from the menu or the buffet I will usually pick the menu. This helps me avoid overeating.

If the buffet is all you have to choose from, or you really want to try the food, then keep portion sizes in mind. Remember you will be eating lunch and dinner! You may not want to spend all of the calories at breakfast. If breakfast is your favorite meal and you want to splurge, then consider a salad for lunch.

3) Watch for hidden calories!  Summer is the time for blended drinks with lots of fresh fruit. These can be loaded with calories. Treat tropical drinks as a dessert if weight loss is the goal.

The same goes for the whipped drinks at the coffee shop! A Starbucks Frappucino can be anywhere from 290-490 calories!

4)  Don’t let the heat stop you!  Hot weather can cause us to slow down a bit. Your body is telling you to pay attention to the heat.

Exercise outdoors in the early morning or evening when in a hot climate. Or exercise in an air conditioned environment. Many hotels and cruises offer morning classes for this reason.

5) Make sure to hydrate! Watch your water intake even if you are spending the day by the pool. Water wipes the perspiration off of your body, yet your body continues to perspire in the pool. If you get dehydrated, heat stroke can occur.

If you’re not sure how to tell when you are dehydrated, you can refer to one of my recent articles on How Water Helps You Lose Weight.

Play a little for weight loss!

Think about outdoor activities that you and your family enjoy. Then, incorporate physical activity into your summer plans.

For example, I love to sit on the beach all day long! It’s so peaceful and I leave totally restored. To counter the sitting, we go for a walk and play in the surf with our dogs. Carrying all of the gear down to the beach is a pretty good warm-up!

There are so many ways to burn calories while having fun! Try Frisbee, Flag Football, swimming, boating, and body surfing. It doesn’t have to be formal. If it seems like a chore, pick something else!

Most of all have fun!  Make sure you rest, play, laugh, and relax!

What’s your favorite summer activity? I’d love to hear what you have to share!

Blessings to you and yours!


How Water Helps You Lose Weight

Everyone tells you to drink more water and how you could die in a short time without it! I know what you’re thinking: “blah blah blah!” Boring, right? Hang on. It really does play a key part in weight loss. Let me explain.

Now before you start chugging down a couple gallons of water, hear me out! You don’t need that much.

Water does help you lose weight! Here’s how:

  • Two glasses of water prior to a meal helped middle aged and older adults feel full longer, research studies found.
  • Cuts out a ton of calories when you replace your regular beverage with water!
  • Guess what? A hydrated body looks leaner. Why? Because when you’re dehydrated, you retain water. Yikes!
  • I bet the magazine rack has at least one headline screaming “Rev up your metabolism with this one trick!” Well, here’s a good one. Just drink enough and your body will be able to metabolize properly. When you’re dehydrated, your metabolism may slow down. We all know what that means for weight loss!

So how much water should you be drinking?

It depends.  The suggested guidelines for water consumption used to be sixty-four ounces per day.  While it is still a good amount of water for some, others may need more. Here are some guidelines to help you decide:

Drink more when you are in situations where your body loses water:

  • in warmer climates,
  • during more intense exercise,
  • at high altitudes.

Try to be more aware of your water intake:

  • if you’re the type of person who usually doesn’t notice thirst; or
  • when you are very busy and likely to forget to drink.
  • If you talk for a living.  Water is lost though saliva.
How do you know when you’re drinking enough water?
  • The best way to tell if you are hydrated is the color of your urine.  Clear to pale yellow is ideal. Yellow to dark yellow means you need water, and if it looks like tea or beer you are dehydrated!  Supplements can also cause urine to be dark yellow. So keep that in consideration.
  • Start by drinking a half ounce for each pound of your body weight.  For example, if you weigh 150 pounds, drink seventy-five ounces of water throughout the day.
  • Avoid allowing yourself to get “thirsty”.  If you are getting a thirst signal then the body is already too low on water!

Five tips to increase your fluid intake:

1) Have a water bottle in your car, at your desk, or in your bag, and sip it throughout the day.

2) Eat lots of fruits and vegetables!

(3) Replace soda with sparking water.  If you like sparkling water, consider getting an in home soda machine. They take up very little counter space. You also save money and there are less bottles to recycle. This helped my husband Matthew go from not liking water to drinking plenty of it!

4) Add fruit or cucumber to your water for flavor.

5) Have water with every meal.

At first it may seem like you have to go to the bathroom a lot. This is normal when you up your water consumption. It is not uncommon to have to use the restroom every hour.

If you sit at a desk, this will encourage you to get up and move every hour. It also allows you to monitor your progress!

Here is a fun recipe for Raspberry water courtesy of Face Magic in Albany, CA.

Raspberry Water

  • 1 Pitcher of Water
  • 1 bag of Frozen Organic Raspberries
  • Place the raspberries in the water and allow it to turn the water a pinkish red color.  Pour in nice glasses and enjoy!

I hope this helps you with your weight loss and management program.  Please feel free to comment below or ask me a question.

I’m going to go get a glass of sparkling water!


Jennifer Ledford



Why Diets Fail!

Today’s article comes from deep within my heart!

Summer is practically here already.  This could be causing you or someone you know to be tempted to go on a crash diet.  Or, maybe even a “cleanse” of some kind (which is really a diet in disguise!).

Before you go down that path please consider the consequences.  Temporary, restrictive, diets have a 95% failure rate and can do more harm than good!

Have you ever tortured yourself on the latest fad diet simply to find yourself unsuccessful and frustrated?

Maybe you lost a bunch of weight only to gain it back again.  Even worse, you gained back more than you lost!

You are not alone.  As a personal trainer I have seen so much physical and psychological damage from dieting it makes me want to scream!

Some of the reasons diets fail you are:

  • Slows down your metabolism
  • Causes you to store fat not burn it
  • It’s unsustainable for most people’s lifestyle
  • When you stop starving yourself and go back to a normal calorie consumption you WILL gain weight
  • Lack of energy due to being hungry
  • Eliminates entire food groups and key nutrients
  • Can cause binge eating

Look, I get it.  You want to get thinner and you want it now.  Most of us do not want to wait the amount of time it takes to lose weight that statistically stays off for life.  The diet industry is counting on that and the marketing is very convincing!

It starts with a change in mindset.  The mindset that you are going to switch to healthy eating.  Portion control, cutting back extras, and meal planning are all considered healthy eating.  Not starvation diets or skipping meals entirely!

Last week I posted some tips on how to lose weight in the next 30 days for summer.  I decided to repost them in this article for your easy access.

1) Exercise almost every day!  If your schedule permits do one workout six days per week.  Try an interval workout 2-3 times per week and alternate with more moderate activity on the rest of the days.

Choose a fun activity on your off day like a moderate hike, swim, taking your kids or dog to the park, or a stretch and release workout.

If exercising six days per week seems overwhelming start 20 minutes per day 2-3 days per week .  You’ll still get better results than nothing at all!

2) Eat in!  Cook at home for the next 30 days and bring your lunch.  Use light recipes from sources like EatingWell, Cooking Light, and Health magazine.

3) Avoid liquid calories for the next 30 days!  Try substituting alcohol, sodas, and other higher calorie drinks with water.  Try adding lemon or cucumber for some variation.

Sounds extreme?  Cut down to half or even a quarter of what you usually drink.  You can always go back to your normal consumption if you want to.

4) Cut back on dessert!  Desserts are usually loaded with calories.  If you have a sweet tooth try substituting with fruit or one piece of dark chocolate.

Try this for the next 30 days and I know you will be pleasantly surprised.

Seems a bit overwhelming?  Pick as many things from above that you can realistically add to your schedule and implement them right away.    By being consistent you will begin to see results.

Give yourself credit for getting started and know that this is a long term plan for success!

Have any questions or dieting stories you’d like to share?  Please comment below.  I’d love to hear from you!

Blessings to you and yours!