Watch out for these common culprits: 

Reduced activity
Excessive heat can reduce our activity, because we are too hot to move around. Who wants to exercise in the heat, further increase our discomfort and risk heat stroke or heat exhaustion?

Recommendation: If you love exercising outdoors, exercise earlier in the morning, or later in the evening once the sun has set.

Indoor activity is also a great option. Whether it be exercising in an air-conditioned gym, playing an indoor sport such as basketball or volleyball, or swimming in a pool, either indoors or outside.

Loss of essential nutrients
In addition to all the fluids we lose through sweating, we lose many important vitamins and minerals. For example, B1 and B2 vitamins are water-soluble vitamins that are lost through waste fluids and are necessary to burn fat when exercising. Without adequate amounts of these nutrients, the body’s fat-burning capabilities can be seriously impaired.

Recommendation: Make sure you follow a balanced diet and include a variety of nutrient sources. It is easy to forget to have your greens, or limit yourself to certain kinds of food when attending summer barbecues, at the cottage or while away on vacation.

If you can’t get the recommended daily allowances of these required nutrients in your diet, then take vitamin supplements.

Sleep deprivation
Although most of us think of vacation time in the summer as restful, the opposite can be true. Summer entertaining late into the night, whether from home or elsewhere, can take its toll on your body, often resulting in us getting inadequate sleep. A lack of sleep can increase your appetite and slow your metabolism, resulting in increased body fat.

Not getting enough sleep lowers the amount of Leptin, the hormone responsible for suppressing your appetite that, in turn, increases the amount of Ghrelin in your body, which increases your appetite.

Muscles need rest to recover and rely on growth hormones in your body to rebuild. Being sleep-deprived adversely affects the release of growth hormones in your body, and decreases your lean muscle mass, which, in turn, decreases your metabolism.

Recommendation: For best results with your diet and exercise weight loss routine make sure to get at least 8 hours of sleep starting between nine at night and midnight. If this isn’t possible, having a 30 minute power nap on vacation days or weekends can help reenergize and refresh your body and mind.

Poor diet choices
Although we have more fresh produce available during the summer months, summer parties or being away from home can sabotage even our best efforts to eat a healthy, well- balanced diet. Sometimes our preferred foods are not available, or we wish to indulge and enjoy time with friends and family.

Alcoholic drinks or other refreshing beverages can add to the weight gain with added sugar and empty calories. Lemonade, for example, has the same amount of calories as a full-sugared soft drink, and offers very little nutritional value.

Recommendation: If hosting your own party, make sure to include healthier meal or snack options, such as a veggie tray with low-fat dips, fresh fruit, and baked chips or crackers instead of fried potato chips.

When travelling, pack some healthy snacks for the ride, and, be sure to ask for healthier options (go for the salad versus the French fries) when eating out regularly. While it’s OK to indulge occasionally, regularly eating calorie-laden meals will not do your waistline any favours!

Besides limiting alcoholic intake, choosing drinks with lower sugar content and fewer calories is your best bet to avoid the extra weight gain. Ask for ice water, lemon wedges or slices to squeeze and add artificial sweetener or two sugar packets for a tangy drink between 0 and 30 calories.