Summer is upon us, and while you may be anxious to hit the beach and put up the volleyball net, chances are, you’ve got some fantasies involving a backyard barbeque as well. However, if you’re on a diet, you may believe that those fantasies are doomed to remain fantasies since you have calories to count.
Though, that doesn’t have to be true. There are plenty of delicious summer foods you can chow down on without feeling guilty. Here’s a look at five of the tastiest summer dishes on the menu, all without a calorie count that would make your eyes bleed.
Iced Green Tea
You’ve likely heard of the benefits of green tea on weight loss or seen the ingredient listed in many popular diet pills. That’s because green tea is one of the best ways to increase metabolism, trigger fat burning, and promote all-around wellness.
And in the summertime, what could be more refreshing than an iced green tea after a session at the gym? Substitute this tea for your traditional latte, and you’re sure to see some great results after a few weeks.
In fact, the benefits of drinking green tea were documented in a recent study published in the Journal of Nutrition. According to researchers, people who exercised and drank green tea lost more weight and more overall belly fat than people who were dieting without drinking this tea.
If you haven’t heard of gazpacho, you should do some investigating. This cold soup is refreshing on a hot summer’s day, and as a bonus, it can also help you lose weight.
According to research from Pennsylvania State University, eating a small bowl of soup before an entrée consumed significantly fewer calories at that meal than people who went into the main course on an empty stomach.
That’s because soup is one of the most filling foods you can eat. It spreads throughout your stomach and sends signals to your brain that you are full, cutting off snacking and binge eating.
If there’s one food that is the quintessential sign of summer, it’s the watermelon. And luckily for you, it’s one of the healthiest foods out there.
Staying hydrated is important not only for supporting your memory and mood but for increasing satiety or your natural feelings of fullness.
According to the American Dietetic Association, drinking just one or two glasses before every meal will increase your caloric intake by 13 per cent.
And when you can actually eat water in the form of refreshing and delicious fruit, you really don’t have an excuse not to stay hydrated.
Corn on the Cob
Sweet corn on the cob isn’t just fun to eat; it’s full of the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin. Said to act as “natural sunglasses,” these antioxidants reduce harm from UV rays that could eventually lead to partial blindness.
And although corn doesn’t boost any direct weight loss properties, it can help do damage control when you do lose weight. Antioxidants are known for fighting free radicals and the harmful toxins that are released when fat is broken down, for example.
So even if corn can’t directly produce weight loss, it can keep you healthy while you’re trying to lose weight, so you may want to consider including it in your backyard barbecue.
A refreshing tuna burger with lime juice, cilantro, and ginger on a whole wheat bun can not only be a delicious dinner, but it can also deliver a filling meal without too many calories.
A single ounce of canned, water-packed tuna, for example, contains just 33 calories, 7 grams of protein, and less than a quarter-gram of fat.
Tuna also helps manage hunger. Tuna stays in your stomach much longer than other foods and takes longer to digest, leaving you feeling full and making your metabolism work double-time to digest your food.
Beware of tuna packed in oil, however—it contains 56 calories and has a shocking 2.33 grams of fat per ounce.
What Else Can I Do This Summer to Lose Weight?
If you want a little extra boost from something besides your diet, you can always check out a weight loss pill. Most traditional over-the-counter diet pills contain a variety of natural ingredients, like green tea, to help you lose weight.
They can either suppress your appetite, ignite fat burning, promote energy, and support your metabolism—some perform all four of these tasks.
Read about weight loss pills here, or get into the kitchen to start preparing some of these tasty, healthy treats and enjoy your summer.