Allison Hagendorf by Allison Hagendorf

August is here and you’re feeling pumped about this summer weather, but you’re not quite as thrilled about your lack of results—despite hitting your spin classes and drinking your green juice. What’s going on? Let’s take a closer look at five typical summer behaviors to see if we can find the culprit that is getting in the way of achieving your goals: 

1. You’re eating too much “healthy” food.

Just because you just put in a solid 45 minutes on that bike does not mean you can treat yourself to a mango, berry and cocoa smoothie after every class. Similarly, gluten-free pizza is still pizza. Take a look at the “healthy” foods you are consuming as part of your daily diet and see if you can cut back and treat that gluten-free treat as a weekly or biweekly indulgence. 

2. You’re eating too little.

Are you so committed to losing weight that you’re skipping meals or eating like a bird? Be careful here, as you don’t want to trick your body into thinking it’s in starvation mode. If your body isn’t getting enough calories, it will automatically protect itself by slowing down your metabolism and switch to fat-storage mode. The solution? Try to eat nutrient-dense whole foods every few hours throughout the day. 

3. You’re drinking too much.

A few too many outdoor sunset happy hours may be sending your goals to the back-burner, while preventing your body from being a fat-burner. Calories from alcohol cannot be stored, so your body must prioritize getting rid of the drinks you consume and thus store whatever was currently being digested as fat. Also, not only is alcohol calorically dense, it also reduces inhibitions and increases appetite. Late-night cheese-fries definitely shouldn’t be fueling your boot-camp class the next day. 

4. You’re drinking too little.

Water, that is. Summer heat causes you to perspire and sweat and dehydrate. It is essential you keep a water stash going throughout the day. Remember, you may already be slightly dehydrated by the time you start to feel thirsty. And half the time you think you are hungry, it’s really your body telling you to replenish your fluids. Here’s a good rule of thumb to follow: Drink a large glass of water when you first wake up and before every meal to help keep your body properly hydrated.

5. You’re overdoing the summer barbecues.

There’s no reason you can’t enjoy barbecues—you just have to know how to navigate a summer soiree to make sure you’re having fun and staying on track. Steer clear of the processed hotdogs and greasy chips. Choose grilled meats instead and use condiments sparingly. Watch out for heavy sides like potato salads, and go nuts on the salad and grilled veggies, and opt for fruit for the dessert.