FINALLY! Summer has arrived! After a winter of hibernating and a spring of trying to shake off the rust, it is time to get out there and enjoy yourself!
But, if you are trying to stay on track with your fitness goals (or just trying to get started), the most festive parts of summer can be difficult to navigate. Barbecues, patios, festivals, and fairs can all lead you to less than wise -- albeit yummy -- food choices. But don't lose heart.
Summer doesn't only mean outdoor fun, it means a bounty of delicious and healthy seasonal fruits and vegetables that will help keep you from going off the rails! Try to eat foods that make you feel full and satisfied (for some creative ways to do this, check out The BodyRock Meal Plan
). By choosing more satisfying foods, you will prevent yourself from overeating and drop pounds without feeling deprived! Here are just a few ideas
Who doesn't love the sweet, refreshing, sensation that comes with biting into a slice of watermelon? Watermelon contains a large amount of water (go figure!) that can help you stay hydrated when temperatures start to soar. What's more watermelon contains fiber that binds with fat and helps flush it from your system! It is also remarkably low in calories coming in at 47 calories per cup!
Right behind watermelon in the low calorie fruit department comes strawberries. They are loaded with fiber and nutrients and are the perfect size for an on-the-go snack. They also make glorious desserts and serve as wonderful add-ins for your smoothies! Strawberries are bite size but incredibly filling, saving you calories down the road!
If you have been trying to eat healthy, you are probably already a major fan of kale. This leafy green, health hero comes into season midsummer so don't be afraid to stock up. Kale is another fiber rich food that can fill you up without costing you a boatload of calories. And it is versatile. Add some to your smoothies, make a delicious salad, or bake some into kale chips, the perfect portable snack! Here's a great salad idea:
4. Grilled Seafood
When you are trying to lose weight, protein is your friend. It fills you up, helps your body repair muscles after a workout, and requires a calorie expenditure to even digest. It is important to try to include a serving of lean protein with every meal and, come summertime, fish is an incredible, light option. Salmon is always a good choice as it contains not only protein but omega-3 fatty acids
which are an important part of a balanced diet. If salmon isn't your thing, tuna steaks
offer 25 grams of protein for a 3 ounce serving!
It is easy to get dehydrated in the summer. And, because not everything in life can be fair, dehydration often presents as hunger, leading us to overeat. Nip that problem in the bud by digging into this crisp refresher.
Cucumber not enough on its own? Add some tomato! Not only do summer tomatoes have a to die for taste, they also pack a dose of vitamins C and K, fiber, copper and potassium. And, like cucumber, tomatoes are an edible water source.
Avocados are a wonderful source of fiber and healthy dietary fats. In recent years, we have come to understand that dietary fats are an incredibly useful part of a balanced diet. One of the things they do is slow your digestion so you don't end up eating more food than your body needs. If you are looking for a creative way to eat your avocados, try this delicious salad that combines more than one ingredient from this list! Take a look:
These tiny little summer favorites contain less sugar than most other fruit and contain many anti-inflammatory properties. And like most everything else on this list, they are an excellent source of fiber. Because they are low in sugar, eating raspberries can prevent those dreaded blood sugar spikes that can leave you feeling hungry moments after eating!
Pineapple is a perfect summer fruit. It not only invokes the sensation of relaxing on the beach, it contains two important enzymes that better break down the food you eat while helping you metabolize body fat more efficiently!
What are your favorite healthy summer foods? Share your thoughts with us!