5 Summer Foods to Boost Weight Loss

by Kristina LaRue, RD, CSSD, LDN
Share it:
5 Summer Foods to Boost Weight Loss

Whether you’re hitting the beach, tanning by the pool or just trying to look and feel your best this summer, it’s important to incorporate fresh, seasonal fruits and vegetables into your diet. With all that sunshine comes foods that are packed with antioxidants, nutrients and water to rehydrate your long summer days.

Although eating certain foods can’t automatically prompt weight loss, replacing high-calorie foods with low-calorie ones can shift you toward burning more calories than you consume — the key to shedding extra weight. The best way to make these swaps is by choosing nutrient-dense foods (that are naturally lower in calories) to enhance your health and ensure you’re still getting all the necessary nutrients needed for your weight-loss journey.

Try adding these five foods to your diet this summer:

Whichever kind you prefer — blueberries, blackberries, raspberries or strawberries — these summer fruits are packed with nutrients and are lower in calories than other fruits such as bananas and mangoes. Berries are also high in fiber (one cup of raspberries has 8 grams of dietary fiber, which is nearly a third of the recommended intake for women and 20% of what men need in a day), which helps you feel full longer and reduces the temptation to snack between meals. Berries are rich in antioxidants and vitamins, packing a strong nutritional punch with a low calorie count.

Recipes we recommend: Blueberry-Spinach Power Salad, Strawberry Salad Wrap

Containing 92 percent water, watermelon fills you up without weighing you down. Despite its low calorie count, it’s loaded with antioxidants such as lycopene and vitamin C, boosting your micronutrients while also keeping you hydrated. Try this for a refreshing summer treat.

Recipes we recommend: Watermelon Oatmeal Smoothie, Watermelon Cucumber Salad


READ MORE > 8 FOODS THAT ARE SURPRISINGLY GOOD FOR WEIGHT LOSS


With some of the highest protein and iron levels of any vegetable, peas are a great substitute for meat that’s usually high in calories and saturated fat. If you’re excited about cooking with this vegetable but don’t know how to get started, check out these 6 Fresh Ways to Eat Your Peas.

Recipes we recommend: Gorgeously Green Spring Pasta, Chicken & Brown Rice Bowl

Rich in vitamin C and potassium, pineapple also has a higher sugar-to-calorie ratio than other fruits — so enjoy it slowly as it’s quick to satisfy that sweet tooth. The stem of this juicy summer fruit is also a good source of bromelain, a compound that exhibits anti-inflammatory properties in the body. Pineapple is useful for more than just a sweet treat — it’s a great complement to your entrees.

Recipes we recommend: Rotisserie Chicken Tacos with Pineapple Salsa, Grilled Salmon with Pineapple Salsa

This versatile summer vegetable is as low-calorie and nutrient-dense as it gets, clocking in at only 37 calories per medium pepper with a gram of protein, 2 1/2 grams of fiber and only 5 grams of natural sugar. Looking to boost your daily intake of vegetables? Stuff ’em — peppers work with any meal.

Recipes we recommend: Breakfast Stuffed Bell Peppers, Mexican Chicken Stuffed Peppers

BONUS TIPS FOR SUMMER WEIGHT LOSS

Along with adding these foods to your daily routine, keep in mind these general tips for slimming down this summer.

STAY HYDRATED

Dehydration can leave you feeling exhausted and hungry. Make sure to keep a cold water bottle with you at all times to prevent overeating and exhaustion. For a refreshing and more flavorful way to hydrate, add a pineapple core and mint or basil leaves to your water.

BE MINDFUL OF PORTION SIZES

Warm summer days mean barbecues and celebrations with massive spreads of food. Start with small portions, chew slowly and let your food settle, then decide if you’re still hungry before going back for another plate.

EVERYTHING IN MODERATION

Summer travel plans and holidays may involve sweets and treats that aren’t a usual part of your diet. Be mindful of the choices you’re making and remember the key to a sustainable weight-loss plan is consistency and moderation, not depriving yourself of everything you enjoy eating.

Related

  • Fraser Walton

    Some creative healthy ideas but not much weight loss relevance. For vegetables, peas are higher in protein but I don’t agree they are a good substitute for meats. You would need about a plateful of whole peas for the same amount of protein as a small serve of meat. Pineapple is delicious but higher sugar, carb or calorie foods are typically what people aim to avoid for weight loss depending on what strategy they’re using. So, although it’s attractive for summer, I don’t agree it should be in the top 5.

    • Lucy Heart

      so then what would you recommend . you seem to have some knowledge in this .

      • Fraser Walton

        Hi Lucy,
        for health and wellness, you want lots of fruit and veg, maybe even double what most guidelines recommend, since they contain vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, fibre etc. that we need for optimal nutrition. They are probably going to be a good substitute for any junk food too. However, for burning fat (depending on what strategy you are deciding to use), there can be a trade off between the health benefits from the fruits & veg and the carbohydrate content. If you’re counting/restricting carbs, then fruits and vegetables are not in themselves a “weight loss food” and adding more won’t necessarily increase your results in getting leaner. When I burned 20kg of fat the main premise was eating fruit and veg only with main meals and snacking on protein in between meals and after dinner in order to reduce insulin production (“store fat”) and promote glucagon production (“burn fat”), alongside walking (optimal heart rate for burning fat). I did this in 4 week bursts followed by metabolic readjustment in order to prevent plateau. it was a very detailed program so I can’t really explain it all in one post. what region are you in?