It’s no secret that we all want to look good during the summer. Whether it’s because of that warm bikini weather, a desire to just be our healthiest self, or to gain a confidence boost, there are plenty of reasons to shape up.
While eating specific foods won’t automatically produce weight loss, it will definitely help you get the results you want. Along with diet, there are a few other essential elements to losing weight, including:
The 80/20 weight loss rule
Have you ever heard that abs are made in the kitchen? You can hit the gym all you want, but if your diet isn’t clean and you aren’t in a caloric deficit, then you’ll continue to struggle to get the results you want. While you don’t have to completely cut out all of your favorite indulgent foods, following the 80/20 rule is a solid weight loss structure.
The 80/20 rule emphasizes eating 80 percent wholesome, clean foods, and only indulging for the other 20 percent of your diet.
Essentially, it promotes “cheating” in moderation. So, focus on eating these summer foods for weight loss (featured below) 80 percent of the time, but don’t worry about indulging in those seasonal barbeques or sweet treats in moderation!
Summer foods for weight loss
These in-season fruits and vegetables are packed with nutrients, which are essential for losing weight. Be sure to incorporate these foods into your meals, or reach for them whenever you want a snack!
You might have been told that fruit has too much sugar, but please excuse berries from that generalization. Berries are lower in calories, sugar, and carbohydrates compared to other fruits (like bananas and mangos). Plus, they’re packed with fiber, antioxidants, and vitamins that are essential for healthy body function. Berries are a great addition to your protein shakes.
Made of almost entirely water and barely any calories, cucumber’s are definitely your friend! Hydration is key to weight loss, and contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to solely drink water to level up your hydration. Eating water-dense food, like cucumber (which is 95 percent water), will contribute to your hydration and overall weight loss. Plus, cucumbers provide anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidants, too!
Similar to cucumber, watermelon contains 92 percent water but is slightly tastier. While watermelon contains sugar, its glycemic load is low, meaning blood sugar levels don’t change very much after consumption. Watermelon is also nutrient-dense, containing vitamin C, vitamin A, and antioxidants.
Low in calories and carbs, zucchini is an essential summer weight loss veggie. Not only is it packed with nutrients like vitamin A, vitamin C, and calcium, it’s also incredibly versatile. You can grill zucchini spears, make zucchini pizza boats as a bread substitution, or make zucchini noodles in exchange for carb-heavy pasta.
While lean protein isn’t exclusive to summer, it’s an essential element to weight loss. Protein makes you feel fuller for longer, which lowers cravings and impulsive eating. Focus on eating chicken, poultry, and fish. You can give lean protein that summer aesthetic by grilling it on the barbeque or enjoying some chicken and veggie skewers! Or blend up your favorite protein powder with ice and milk to make a smoothie or smoothie bowl.
In order to lose weight…
You have to eat clean, exercise, and maintain a caloric deficit. By following the 80/20 rule, you can achieve weight loss results while still enjoying your favorite foods in moderation. Remember to always stay hydrated, be consistent and, of course, enjoy these warm summer days while they last!