Sure, summer can be a weight loss wasteland. There are all those backyard barbeques and days spent sitting by the pool instead of swimming in it. But if you work it right, summer can also be great for your weight loss program. Here’s why:

Rising temperatures. During the summer months your body may naturally suppress your appetite, so available energy can be used for cooling the body rather than digesting food. Need more help decreasing hunger? Try our Stay Slim supplement*. It’s a natural appetite suppressant that ignites metabolism, stabilizes blood sugar, and increases energy.

Early sunrises. In summer, when the sun rises earlier, there’s more opportunity to bask in some bright early-morning light. And research shows that when people expose themselves to about 20 to 30 minutes of moderately bright morning sunlight, they have significantly lower BMIs than those who get their light later in the day.

The great outdoors. Mother Nature has a powerful effect on our psyches. When we’re outside enjoying warm, sunny weather, for example, we tend to be happier and less stressed. In fact, one study found that those who jogged outdoors were 50 percent happier than those who worked out in a gym. And as any stress eater knows, the happier and more relaxed you are, the less chance there is of binge eating.

Increased water consumption. When it’s steamy and hot outside, drinking lots of water seems easy. Besides being necessary to replenish lost fluids, researchers have found that drinking water can also burn calories. Consuming just 17 oz of water, for example, can increase your metabolic rate by 30 percent, an effect that can last for 40 minutes or more after the last drop is sipped.

Gardening. Summer is the season for gardening, and studies show that female gardeners are 11 pounds lighter than their nongardening peers.