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15 Amazing Ideas to Start Losing Weight Before Summer

Your future self will thank you. 
FACT CHECKED BY Christopher Roback

Summer is on the horizon and that bathing suit is beckoning—but if you're not feeling quite ready for it yet, don't worry. With so much noise and conflicting information in the weight loss sphere, it's easy to feel overwhelmed with information. Luckily, weight loss is a straightforward process for the most part (note that we didn't say easy). "The foundation of successful weight loss remains a healthy, calorie-controlled diet combined with increased physical activity," says the Mayo Clinic. "For successful, long-term weight loss, you must make permanent changes in your lifestyle and health habits." Here are 15 healthy, scientifically-backed ways to start losing weight before summer, which will not only torch fat but, more importantly, make you feel good.

Start Focusing on Protein

Grilled or smoked chicken breast with bone and skin on a cutting board

Include protein in every meal and snack throughout the day. "Protein can promote weight loss because it increases satiety, making it easier to control your appetite due to feeling full longer," sports dietitian Brittney Bearden tells Texas Health. "Protein also helps maintain calorie-burning muscle mass, which facilitates the weight you lose to come from fat mass."

Walking Is Your Best Friend


Walking is simple, and you can set your own pace. The more you walk, the more calories you burn throughout the day. Even if you never set foot in a gym, walking and hiking can encourage weight loss and improve your mood. Bonus points if you get to enjoy walking in nature!

RELATED: 12-3-30 Walking Method: 20 Proven Tips to Lose Weight Faster

Don't Drink Your Calories

Couple staying hydrated after workout

Stick to zero-calorie beverages like water and unsweetened coffee and tea. "Empty calories are basically calories that don't have any added nutritional value, like the vitamins and minerals that we need for our body to function and grow," dietitian Amber Bonsall tells the Mayo Clinic. "Empty calories can be found in things like your candies and sodas, so those things don't really add much to our life."

Go To Bed

Peaceful serene beautiful young lady wear pajamas lying asleep relaxing sleeping in cozy white bed on soft pillow resting covered with blanket enjoying good healthy sleep concept, above top view

Try going to bed at the same time every night and getting at least 7 hours of good-quality sleep. Several studies have linked sleep deprivation to weight gain. You're also less likely to be active if you're exhausted from not getting enough rest.

Limit Added Sugars

Different sugar on dark table

Too much sugar has a negative impact on your health and weight loss efforts, so it's best to avoid added sugars for the most part. "Overall, the problem with too much sugar is that it tends to mean your diet will be high in calories (energy) and this can lead to putting on weight," Senior Dietitian Victoria Taylor tells the British Heart Foundation. "Excess weight increases the chances of developing type 2 diabetes and heart and circulatory diseases. Not all foods containing sugars are the same. Fruit or dairy products contain natural sugars but are nutritious foods that contain vitamins, minerals and in some cases fiber."

Limit Alcohol

Male group clinking glasses of dark and light beer on brick wall background

Save the alcohol for when you've reached your goals and want to celebrate (mindfully, of course). Drinking too much while trying to lose weight can undermine your efforts in several different ways, not least that it's empty calories. A lot of people are tempted to snack more after drinking.

RELATED: 15 Quick Ways to Lose Body Fat Percentage in a Week

Work Out a Calorie Deficit


Are you eating too much, or even enough? Use a calorie counter (like this one from the Mayo Clinic) to figure out what your deficit should be and stick to it. Having an idea of your calorie intake is important, as you must burn off more than you take in for weight loss to work.

Set Realistic Goals


Don't try to undo years of behaviors overnight—set realistic goals. This way there is less risk of injury when it comes to your fitness routine, and you're more likely to stick to the program. Start slow and steady and build your way up.

Tell Your Friends

Silhouettes of four young hikers with backpacks are walking in mountains at sunset time

Telling friends and family about your efforts should hopefully give you some extra support and encouragement when needed. Turn your friend meetups into hiking dates or simply just going for a walk. Not only will you have fun but it will make the whole weight loss process easier.

Reward your Efforts


There's nothing like a little motivation to keep you on the right path. Maybe promise yourself an extra fancy bathing suit when you hit your goals, or a nice vacation. New workout clothes or a concert, whatever keeps you going!

Manage Stress

tired business woman sleepy and bored from sitting at a desk for a long time and has office syndrome

Stress and weight gain—especially abdominal fat gain—are unfortunately linked. Stress may be inevitable, but try different ways of managing it. Working out and meditating have both been shown to help with stress.

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Nourish Your Body

Caprese Italian or Mediterranean salad. Tomato mozzarella basil leaves black olives and olive oil on wooden table.

Eat a balanced, healthy diet with plenty of good fats, protein, vegetables, and fruits. The Mediterranean diet is ideal. "The Mediterranean Diet includes many different nutrients that work together to help your body," says the Cleveland Clinic. "There's no single food or ingredient responsible for the Mediterranean Diet's benefits. Instead, the diet is healthy for you because of the combination of nutrients it provides."

Weight Training

Muscular build sportsman taking weights from a rack in a gym. Focus is on hand. Close up.

Want to burn fat even while you're resting? Building muscle is the way. "As your muscle mass increases, so does your metabolism, which is key to burning calories," according to the University of Maryland Medical System. "Our resting metabolism is based upon our fat-free mass, most of which is muscle."

Don't Mindlessly Snack

Hungry man opens the refrigerator at night


Are you eating out of habit or boredom vs actual hunger? Learn the difference. "Listening to your hunger works much better than relying on willpower," Kayla Kopp, RD, LD, tells the Cleveland Clinic. "When you're tempted to overeat, have a conversation with yourself: Are you feeling hungry, are you bored or are you feeling emotional? Will eating right now get you closer to your goal?"

RELATED:  The Ultimate Guide to Getting Fit as a Pear Body Type

Skip the Drive-Thru

Woman getting fast food at drive-thru

Avoid fast food as much as possible, not just during your weight loss journey but for the sake of your health. "Processed and fast foods contain enhanced ingredients that hit the dopamine center in your brain and make you want more," Dr. Albers tells the Cleveland Clinic. "They are designed to be addictive to the brain."

💪🔥Body Booster: Stick to zero-calorie beverages like water, unsweetened coffee, and tea. "Avoid empty calories in things like candies and sodas.

Ferozan Mast
Ferozan Mast is a science, health and wellness writer with a passion for making science and research-backed information accessible to a general audience. Read more