America's Healthy Summer: Do Summer Dieters Have Greater Chance of Weight Loss Success?

America's Healthy Summer: Do summer dieters have greater chance of success?

ByABC News via logo
June 6, 2010, 7:39 PM

June 7, 2010 — -- Millions of Americans made a New Year's resolution to lose weight, but many have already given up, finding it too hard to achieve their weight loss goals.

Dr. Mehmet Oz, a physician, author and television show host, appeared on "Good Morning America" today to suggest a novel approach: dieting in the summer.

Many people diet so they'll be in shape for the summer. Oz said people would be better off dieting in the summer because they'll have a better chance of success.

He explained why on the show:

Q: Why is it easier to diet in the summer?

A: Sunlight may help weight loss by increasing serotonin levels. That's one way doctors treat the depression of seasonal affective disorder, Oz said. Increased levels of serotonin reduce some people's need to eat, especially if the cravings are for comfort foods, he said. Additionally, many people tend to eat less in hot temperatures. The biggest dieting advantage of the summer is the ability to stay outdoors longer, he said, encouraging people to find a neighborhood park or do some other outdoor activity.

Q: Is it easier to eat better when it's not cold?

A: It's easier to eat better in summer because there's an abundance of seasonal, fat-burning foods that are relatively low-priced. For example, okra (an important source of vitamin B6 and folic acid), cucumbers (a good source of silica, which is good for the skin), peaches, (a good source of fiber), and asparagus and broccoli (which are full of hunger-satisfying protein), are all readily available, Oz said. He pointed out that the body measures nutrients and not calories. That means that people who are eating the correct nutrients won't be as hungry.

Q: What are some great summer staples?

A: Oz suggested the following summer foods. Each costs 80 cents or less per cup:

Quinoa: One serving supplies half of your daily requirement for iron.