Hey Angels and Alphas,
Whether you’re planning on hitting the beach, tanning by the pool, or just trying to lose weight so you can look your best this summer, it’s vital that you incorporate fresh, seasonal fruits and veggies into your diet.
With all the sunshine come countless foods packed with antioxidants, water, and nutrients that will keep you slim and rehydrate you on those long summer days.
Although it’s a fact that eating certain foods won’t just result in you losing weight, you can replace high-calorie foods with foods that are low in energy density so you can shift toward burning more calories than you’re consuming – the one and only key to weight loss.
The best way to make these healthy swaps is to choose nutrient-dense foods that actually enhance your health and guarantee that you’re consuming the necessary nutrients to fuel your weight-loss efforts.
For this exact reason, we’re here to talk about 8 summer staples that will help you make the switch from high-energy-density to low-energy-density foods… and, in turn, help you lose weight.
Let’s get started.
Peaches are one of the best summer fruits out there – they’re sweet, they’re healthy, they’re rich in vitamin C and potassium, and they contain the antioxidant beta-carotene, giving them their golden hue. This antioxidant is converted into vitamin A inside your body, aiding eye health and overall health.
Whichever kind of berries you prefer – raspberries, strawberries, blueberries – it doesn’t matter! They ALL contain several important nutrients (and they’re also low in calories) that go a long way toward keeping you fit and healthy. Berries are high in fiber, helping you feel full and reducing the temptation to snack on sugary meals. They’re also rich in vitamins B and C, as well as vital antioxidants. One cup of raspberries carries about 8 grams of fiber, nearly 1/3 of your daily requirements.
Cucumbers are one of the most hydrating foods out there and they’re just what we need in this summertime heat. With only 16 calories for every 150 grams of sliced cucumbers, they can become a healthy and delicious option you can add to salads, sandwiches, smoothies, and more. And they’re 95 percent water! They’re extremely hydrating and also have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits.
Rich in potassium and vitamin C, pineapples are a sweet and savory summer fruit. While they do carry a higher sugar-to-calorie ratio than other fruits, this makes them all the more perfect for satisfying that sweet tooth. The stem of this fruit is a great source of bromelain, a compound proven to have anti-inflammatory properties in the body. Pineapple is a great complement to your entrees, making it more than just a sweet summer treat.
Peas have some of the highest iron and protein contents among all vegetables, making them one of the best choices for people who want to get extra protein in the summer and stack up some extra iron on top (after all, nearly half the world isn’t meeting their daily iron requirements.)
Watermelons are over 90 percent water so they fill you up without weighing you down. Even though they’re low in calories, they’re also chock-full of lycopene and vitamin C, helping you skyrocket that micronutrient intake while keeping yourself hydrated (and that sweet tooth satisfied.) Plus, can you name a more refreshing summer fruit?
Tomatoes hit their peak ripeness in summer, and they’re some of the most juicy, sweet, low-calorie summer foods. One medium-sized tomato contains about 32 calories and 2-3 grams of fiber. They’re a great source of minerals and vitamins such as vitamin C, potassium, and lycopene – an antioxidant that protects you against sun damage.
Anyone who knows zucchini knows they’re super versatile. They can be put on the grill or used a savory summer side. You can even make zucchini bread out of them! Even though it’s mild in flavor, it can take on pretty much whatever seasoning or ingredient you decide to add to it. One cup of zucchini (about 150 grams) racks up to only 15-20 calories, and it’s also a great source of vitamins A, C, and calcium.
But it’s not just about what you eat this summer…
Along with adding these weight loss foods to your daily summer routine, there are a few things you have to keep in mind.
First of all, always be mindful of your portion sizes. Warm summer days that result in barbecues and parties come with massive food spreads. Always make sure you’re aware of your portion size, chew slowly, and let your food settle before you decide to go back for another plate.
Second of all, it’s not just food that you have to keep in moderation. Your summer travel plans may involve a lot of sweets and treats that you otherwise wouldn’t be having. Be mindful of the choices you’re going to make and remember to not go overboard on your foreign-country desserts.
And finally, stay hydrated at all times. Dehydration will leave you feeling hungry and exhausted. Always keep a cold-water bottle around yourself so you can prevent overeating and exhaustion. You can use any fruit or veggie that you like and add its flavor to your water (or another flavor such as mint or basil.)