Summer is coming and with it comes lots of summer favorites. This summer, stay away from the high-carb potato salad, burgers and ice cream, and stick to lower carb, reduced-calorie items that satisfy your taste buds and keep your waistlines tight for your bikini! Try these summer weight-loss foods instead!
Perhaps the perfect summer food for their versatility, salads can be made any which way you like. Plus, depending on how you build your salad, you can get filled up without substantial calories. Eating salad prior to main dishes can actually prevent you from eating more than you should. Build a salad using any leafy green and an assortment of veggies, but remember you don’t have to limit your salad to only these items. Add in a grain like quinoa or black rice add a few berries, nuts, or seeds like pomegranate or pumpkin! Top with light vinaigrette. For example, try a twist on tabouli— use quinoa instead of bulgur, add chopped green grapes, pomegranate seeds and keep traditional elements like parsley, mint, onion and olive oil and lemon juice.
This cold, refreshing soup combines a blend of fiber filling and hydrating vegetables into a delightfully tasty pre-meal appetizer. Gazpachos are usually made with a tomato base and combine other ingredients like cucumber, capsicum, lime juice, onion and a kick of jalapeno if desired. The result is a low-calorie soup that is packed with antioxidants that can not only aid in weight loss and reduce inflammation, but also provide some protection from the sun! Lycopene, found in tomatoes, can help protect your skin against aging and sunburns. Additionally it has been found that eating soup before a meal can enhance satiety and reduce energy intake. When a low-energy dense soup was consumed subjects reduced meal energy intake by 20 percent.
A traditional Peruvian dish that combines chopped raw fish like tuna that is marinated and cured in citrus, with thinly sliced onions, chopped coriander and spicy chili peppers. This dish delivers a whole lot of protein, good-for-you omega-3 fats, is low in calories, and adds metabolic boosting spicy chili to the mix. If you’re not a raw fish fan, grill your fish instead, and prepare a side salsa using the onion, citrus juice, coriander and chili, add a fruit base like chopped avocados, pineapples or mango to give flavor and volume.
When dieting and keeping trim, most try to stay away from fruit because of its sugar content. However, fruit offers some amazing benefits, and can be easily added into any summer weight-loss meal plan. For one, fruit is high in fiber, which decreases the glycemic index of the food. That means it slows down the digestion, when this happens, blood glucose levels are not spiked quickly, but rather provide sustained energy. Secondly, fruit delivers vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients including antioxidants that are needed in our diets to keep us healthy, protect us from the sun and help us metabolize our foods. Keep your portions small, and stick to fruits like berries or apples that are loaded in fiber, water-based fruits like watermelon, or honeydew or citrus fruits like grapefruit. Fruit can also make a great replacement for fatty favorites like ice cream or frozen yogurt. Make frozen fruit pops, fruit smoothies or water infusions using your favorite fruits!
Is there anything better in the summer than a BBQ with grilled meats? For one, we all know meat delivers a high amount of protein, and a high-protein diet can lead to faster weight loss, and a leaner and trimmer body composition. Stick to lower fat meats, such as chicken, and lean cuts of steak. Avoid high-fat mystery meats like sausages, and if you must have a burger make sure it’s made with extra lean sirloin beef. Remember, grilling can increase exposure to certain carcinogens, so limit your number of BBQs you have or attend.
Flood JE, Rolls BJ. Soup preloads in a variety of forms reduce meal energy intake. Appetite. 2007. 49(3): 626-34.