Summertime can be so cruel when it comes to the numbers on the scale, and not just because of summer snacks and treats. Summer is the season that brings everyone outdoors. Fresh fruits and veggies are abundant, you’re spending lots of time in the fresh air, but you still seem to be putting on weight. What’s up? If pounds are piling on, here are five reasons why:

Time to Travel: Most vacations occur during summer, so while you’re living the good life on some exotic beach, your first priority may not be the gym. Quick Tip: Between the cocktails and the all-you-can-eat buffets, it’s easy to add on the pounds. Be careful. Be mindful. Enjoy in healthy amounts, and add in some fun workouts when you can.

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Longer Days and Longer Nights: With the warmer weather, you are not only more likely to stay out later, but the extra exposure to sunlight affects your circadian rhythm. Aside from making you feel a little sleepy, research shows that skimping out on shuteye can put you at risk for packing on pounds. Quick Tip: As difficult as it may be in the summer, monitor your sleep well. Make sure you’re getting the sleep your mind and body need!

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Another Barbecue? Yes please!: Summer means picnics and barbecues — more activities that revolve around an unlimited spread of food. Quick Tip: Pace yourself. Focus on not overloading your plate. Avoid going back for seconds and thirds and choose seasonal, healthy foods like fresh fruit instead of high-sugar, high-fat desserts. For more healthy tips on how to avoid overeating at get togethers, click here. Check out Skinny Mom’s 7 Pre-Prepped Party Dishes.

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Can’t Beat the Heat: Heat and humidity are brutal, and you may find that your motivation decreases during the hotter days. Don’t let the summer heat put your exercise plans on hold. Quick Tip: Move your workout indoors. If a gym isn’t your thing, try bowling or an indoor climbing wall. If being outdoors is your thing, try joining a local pool or move a regular run or soccer game to an early morning or evening for cooler temps.

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On The Go, Go, Go: Busy summer schedules mean fast food and not enough time in the day to fit in a workout. Quick Tip: Even being on the go from swim lessons to work to barbecues, with a little bit of planning, you can fit in a quick workout and pack some healthy meals and snacks for both you and the kids.

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