There’s no time like summer -- beaches, BBQs and lots of great outings with family and friends.
While you’re maxing and relaxing, it’s also important to make sure you’re eating enough high-quality foods to help stay on track with your health and fitness goals (just because it’s summer isn’t a reason to completely slack on your diet and exercise...remember health and fitness is a lifelong journey, not something that you drop in on from time to time).
While there are no magic “weight loss” foods, making some smart swaps in your diet can help you to stay on track with your calorie intake goals for the day, which supports weight loss. Along those lines, here are 10 foods you can add to your diet to support weight loss.
Top 10 Summer Foods to Boost Weight Loss
#1 Grilled Kebabs
We’ve discussed numerous times before that consuming enough protein each day is vital for weight loss success and body recomposition.
Without getting too far into the weeds, protein supplies your body with the essential amino acids it needs, including the BCAAs, to repair damaged muscle tissue, resist muscle loss, and support lean muscle growth. Moreover, protein is also highly satiating and requires more energy to digest and absorb than either carbs or fats.
Typical cookout “proteins” include the likes of sausages, hot dogs, and ribeyes steak, which are quite delicious, but they’re also packed with lots of fat and calories...and not all that much protein, comparatively.
Swapping in some leaner, yet equally tasty options like chicken thighs & breasts, sirloin, shrimp, or fish (salmon and Mahi mahi are especially exquisite when grilled) can help you hit your protein goals while enjoying the taste of the grill and save on calories!
When it comes to “superfoods” (which really is an amorphous marketing term used to describe foods rich in polyphenols and antioxidants), you’ll be hard pressed to find something better than berries.
Blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, and dewberries are some of the most micronutrient-packed foods you’ll find.
Berries are also high in fiber (which helps keep you feeling fuller for longer), and they’re lower in calories than other fruits like bananas or dates.
Moreover, berries make for a great after-bbq sweet treat and swapping them in place of higher calories fruits (and other “traditional” summertime treats) can help you stay on track with your nutrition goals, thereby supporting weight loss!
Summer is one of the most bountiful times of year, especially for delicious fruits, and one of summer’s best natural sweet treats are peaches.
Peaches are pretty low in calories (a medium peach contains ~40 calories), yet high in fiber and important phytochemicals like vitamins, antioxidants and polyphenols. They’re delicious on their own, but you can also toss them on the grill, which helps caramelize the natural sugars in the peach for added decadence.
#4 Sweet Peppers
Sweet peppers are commonly thought of as vegetables, but botanically speaking, they’re actually fruits.
Nevertheless, sweet peppers are another great-tasting food that’s low in calories but high in micronutrients and can help keep you feeling full. The average sweet (or bell) pepper contains under 40 calories, but contains ~ 2.5 grams of fiber and a gram of protein.
They can be sliced up and used as crudites, tossed on the grill (which make an excellent side dish at summer cookouts), or mixed into salads or omelets.
There may be no other fruit that’s more synonymous with summer than watermelon.
Aptly named, watermelon is over 90% water (which makes it a great food for helping you stay hydrated during the dog days of summer. The juicy, sweet fruit is also packed with vitamin C and lycopene, an important antioxidant that supports the health of your DNA, bones, and skin.
Watermelon is also rich in Citrulline -- an amino acid that supports nitric oxide production, blood flow, and athletic performance. It can also be found in both our men’s and women’s pre workout supplements, 1UP Pre Men & 1UP Pre Women.
Zucchini is another great fresh food to enjoy during the summer. It’s mild in flavor, which makes it extremely versatile. It can be eaten raw, tossed on the grill, or even shredded and mixed into slaw or a sweet treat like zucchini bread. Z
One cup (150g) of sliced zucchini contains a paltry 17 calories and 3 grams of carbs. Yet, despite its low calorie content it’s high in essential micronutrients like potassium, vitamin A, vitamin C and calcium, not to mention fiber.
Yet another fruit that is in peak form during summer is the ever-present tomato. Juicy, sweet, and versatile, tomatoes can make an appearance in just about any dish, be it breakfast, lunch, dinner, and even dessert (tomato sorbet, anyone?!).
A medium tomato contains ~30 calories, including 2 grams of fiber, as well as a bevy of essential vitamins and minerals including vitamin C, potassium and lycopene.
Tomatoes are commonly used on sandwiches, burgers, and salads, but they can also be added to omelettes and frittatas for breakfast, grilled on the BBQ pit, or tossed into a blender with chile peppers, cilantro, white onion, and a dash of cumin for a delicious and nutritious homemade salsa!
Pineapple contains slightly more calories (and natural sugar) than some of the other fruits on this list, but don’t let that discourage you. This fruit can absolutely still be a part of your weight loss diet.
A cup of pineapple contains just 82 calories, including 22 grams of healthy carbohydrates and 2 grams of fiber. It’s rich in vitamin C and potassium as well as the digestive enzyme bromelain, which helps the body breakdown protein and it also possesses some unique anti-inflammatory properties.
Fresh pineapple makes an excellent side dish or dessert on its own. It can also be cut into disks or spears and grilled, chopped and added to a fruit salsa (which makes a great topping for grilled Mahi Mahi tacos), or blended with a scoop of 1UP whey protein for a refreshing post-workout shake.
We’ve all had our fair share of canned peas, which can be drab, dull, and mushy. And, based on these past experiences you might be turned off by the thought of peas during summers, but trust us when we tell you that the two couldn’t be further apart in texture and flavor.
Fresh summer peas are bright, crisp, and flat out delicious! They’re also packed with protein and iron, making them a great option for those looking to incorporate more plant-based protein sources in their diets.
Rounding out this list of the 10 summer foods to boost weight loss is the humble cucumber.
Cucumbers are a great hydrating food as they contain high amounts of water as well as other important vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C. They’re typically sliced and eaten raw. Cucumbers can also be used as a dipping vessel for dips (like hummus) as well as mixed into salads or chilled soups.