By Kathleen M. Zelman,
MPH, RD, LD
Louise Chang, MD
You don't need to starve yourself on a wacky fad
diet if you want to look better in your shorts or
swimsuit this summer.
The secret to weight loss is to choose healthy foods
and take in fewer calories than you burn. And it's
just easier to make better food choices in
summertime, when heavy, high-calorie dishes seem
less appealing. The best foods for weight loss in
summer are light, refreshing and, most important,
keep you out of the hot kitchen.
The single easiest way to trim calories from your
summer diet, experts say, is to load up on nature's
bounty. Produce is at its peak in summer. Delicious
fruits and vegetables abound at farmers' markets and
in your local grocery. Besides being low in
calories, produce is loaded with vitamins, minerals,
antioxidants, and fiber.
"Enjoy fresh produce in season. You will be thrilled
at how fresh, delicious, and satisfying it tastes,"
says Susan Moores, RD, a St. Paul, Minn. nutrition
consultant. "Save the oranges and apples for fall,
and load up on fresh berries, melons, greens,
tomatoes, zucchini, cucumbers, beets, pea pods, and
all the super-nutritious and low-calorie fruits,
greens and vegetables that grow in the garden this
time of year."
As a bonus, you can forget about portion control
when it comes to fresh fruit and vegetables, Moores
"Go for it, because it is hard to do much damage to
your waistline with these super-nutritious edibles,"
To keep your cool and cut your time in the kitchen,
start with prepared produce, such as cut-up fruit
and washed greens. Add rotisserie chicken, prepared
soups, and pre-threaded kabobs when you need
something a bit heartier. Pre-prepped foods may cost
a little extra, but they save time in the kitchen.
Here are dietitian's picks for some of the best
foods to help with weight loss during the summer.
Best Summer Weight Loss Food No. 1: Chilled Soups
Moores loves all kind of produce but says cold soups
are among her favorite low-calorie dishes. Chilled
soups like gazpacho or cucumber-dill that contain
lots of chunky vegetables are a great way to start a
"Research shows that a low-calorie, broth-based soup
at the beginning of the meal will fill you so you
eat less at the meal," Moores says..