8 Tips to Slim Down This Summer

A weight management expert shares helpful ways to shed those extra pounds and rev up your metabolism.

Man measuring waist

Still carrying around those extra five pounds from winter? If you’re following a healthy diet and a regular exercise routine but can’t seem to shake off that extra weight, these lifestyle habits could help you lose those pesky pounds.

Health Matters turned to Dr. Rekha B. Kumar, an attending endocrinologist at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center and an assistant professor of medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine, for her top tips on how to slim down this summer.

1. Walk more.
Take advantage of the warm weather and longer daylight hours and log some extra steps each day. Every little bit counts — try getting off the train or bus a stop early and walking the rest of the way home, or introduce an evening stroll with a friend (rather than sitting on the couch texting).

2. Eat more fruits and veggies.
So many delicious fruits and vegetables are in season right now, so feel free to indulge! This will reduce the amount of processed foods you consume, which may be contributing to those extra pounds.

3. Limit alcohol.
Check yourself on daytime drinking during summer gatherings and barbecues to avoid the extra calories and sugar. Substitute your glass of rosé with a glass of sparkling water.

4. Ditch the soda (and sugary drinks).
Cut out sugar-sweetened beverages like sodas, juices, and energy drinks. It’s the easiest way to avoid unnecessary empty calories and prevent overstressing your cells’ metabolic machinery, which, when overworked, can lead to inflammation and an increased cancer risk.

Portrait of Dr. Rekha Kumar

Dr. Rekha B. Kumar

5. Make sleep a priority.
Sticking to a regular sleep schedule helps your body’s weight-regulating hormones to function normally. Follow these seven tips for eight hours of sleep.

6. Fit in movement when you can. 
It’s important to incorporate movement throughout the day. Do some pushups or lunges while you watch your favorite TV show. At the pool? Rather than lounging on a raft, tread water for a few minutes. By using your time wisely, you’ll burn more calories and rev up your metabolism at the same time.

7. Stay hydrated.
It is possible to confuse thirst for hunger, especially when we’re moving and sweating more. Try this: The next time you feel a grumbling in your stomach, drink a full glass of water and wait a few minutes to see if the feeling subsides. It could have been your body telling you that you were just thirsty!

8. Snack wisely.
It’s easy to overdo it when snacking, especially if you’re reaching for carb-heavy foods. So, if you’re hungry between meals, choose a protein-based snack that will both nourish and keep you full for longer. A handful of almonds, Greek yogurt, string cheese, or a piece of fruit with nut butter are all good options.

Rekha B. Kumar, M.D., is an attending endocrinologist at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center and an assistant professor of medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine. She specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of endocrinology disorders, including obesity/weight management and thyroid disorders. She is also the medical director of the American Board of Obesity Medicine.