With summer almost here, it’s an excellent time to clean up your diet and focus on a dietary plan to cleanse and energize your body, and help you look and feel your best. So, where’s the best place to start? You should think of a successful, healthy dietary plan as one that’s not only incredibly tasty, but utilizes whole food ingredients that nourish your body and deliver essential nutrients you need for optimal functioning.
Since the weather is getting hotter and hotter, it’s also more important than ever to stay hydrated – and believe it or not, you don’t have to get all your H2O from beverages. Certain foods can also help you “up” your water intake, and this is important for weight loss. When you’re properly hydrated, you won’t mistake hunger for thirst, and you’ll likely eat less calories on a daily basis.
With a little direction (which we’ll gladly give you in this article), you can have a totally-yummy plan for summer meals that taste great, and can also help you reach and maintain a healthy weight. We’ll highlight the top categories of foods for a slim waistline, excellent energy, and peak health, so you can feel youthful, alive and excited to enjoy your summer adventures!
One of the most important things to remember upfront is that a “diet” should not be your goal. Instead of a short-term plan, this should be a long-term change that allows you to transform your habits and retrain yourself to crave healthier whole food options over sugary and processed ones. Healthy food can absolutely taste delicious! We’ll show you how…
Get Summer-Ready In No Time With These Foods...
Abundant Leafy Greens & Seasonal Veggies
For low-calorie, nutrient-packed meals that will certainly help you slim your waistline, focus on lots of leafy greens and seasonal veggies – which can absolutely be utilized in a number of tasty, fresh, succulent recipes.
Veggies are loaded with fiber and essential vitamins and minerals – and many also include powerful antioxidants that can help to reduce inflammation in the body and support wellness and a healthy immune system.
In particular, leafy greens, including kale, spinach, arugula, cabbage, collard greens, swiss chard, and microgreens are also ideal for supporting your weight loss goals. These superfoods work to keep the body healthy, while helping to stay fit and toned. This is because the fiber can help with fullness, while the “volume” of leafy greens allows you to have an energizing meal that’s low in calories AND carbs.
Other delicious veggies in season in the summer include bell peppers, beets, carrots, chili peppers, cucumbers, eggplant and green beans. Of these, cucumber is a particularly hydrating veggie with 95% water content, and for those that like heat in their meals, the spiciness of chili peppers may help support the metabolism and speed up calorie-burning.
Need some help getting more veggies into your daily diet? 310 Berry Superfood Juice is a delicious green juice powder that is perfect for summer (or anytime of year)! Just mix it into water or another healthy beverage – and in seconds you'll have a refreshing and tasty beverage containing over 70 superfoods, including antioxidant-packed greens! You’ll find organic spinach, broccoli, kale, beet, parsley, green cabbage and more in every serving to support total body health. The best part? It tastes like fresh mixed berries, so you won’t even know you’re drinking greens!
High-Quality, Lean Proteins
Next, lean protein is hands down one of the best ingredients to include in your diet for energy, satiety, and healthy weight loss.
Protein is one of the most filling nutrients, and studies show that eating a high-protein diet may help you burn up to 80-100 more calories per day. A good aim is to try to increase your daily protein intake to 25% of daily calories – to increase satiety and help reduce cravings for unhealthy foods.
Keep in mind, however, that quality protein is important… When it comes to meat and poultry, look for grass-fed, pasture-raised, and organic as much as possible. This can help ensure the animal was raised as humanely as possible, with the best, most nutritious feed. In turn, this will likely mean the most nutritious, and health-promoting choice for you.
In addition, it’s important to get your protein from a variety of sources, both animal and plant-based. Many people (who aren’t vegan/vegetarian), focus mainly on animal proteins and forget that there are many excellent sources of plant-based protein!
Some great plant-based protein choices include peas; lentils; beans including kidney, black and garbanzo (chickpeas); seeds including hemp, flax and chia; nuts and nut butters; brown and wild rice; quinoa; oats; and even fruits and veggies that contain small amounts of protein like broccoli, spinach, asparagus, sweet potatoes, Brussel sprouts, bananas, and blackberries.
Also, don’t forget that meal replacement shake protein powders are also an excellent way to get more quality protein into your day – if you choose the right type. 310 Shakes only include clean, healthy ingredients including quality plant-based proteins (pea, brown rice, and hemp), 20 essential vitamins and minerals, a superfoods blend, and gut-healthy probiotics in every serving.
In addition, 310 Shakes are also sugar-free, with no artificial sweeteners, and have only 90 calories per serving, while tasting great – talk about being wonderful for slimming down!
Satisfying & Nutritious “Good Fats”
Next, healthy, “good fats” are just as important as lean protein and nutrient-rich veggies. You may not realize how important fats are, but they can be a key food ingredient when it comes to your health and weight loss goals.
The most important reason you want to add some high-quality sources of fat into your diet is because it will help you stay full, while nourishing your body with essential vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and omega-3 fatty acids. You’re less likely to reach for some of the worst foods for your health – sugary drinks, desserts, and processed snack foods – when your stomach is satisfied and you aren’t hungry.
Some great choices for healthy fats include avocado, olives, healthy oils (including extra-virgin olive, coconut, MCT, avocado, and flax); full-fat, unsweetened dairy products like plain Greek yogurt and cottage cheese; fatty fish like wild salmon and tuna; cage-free eggs; nuts and seeds.
In particular, MCT Oil is one of the best sources of high-quality fats for a healthy diet and weight loss. It comes from coconut oil, but it includes medium-chain triglycerides, which are absorbed much more quickly into your system, resulting in a quick burst of energy for mind and body. It’s also highly-satiating and easy to include in smoothies, coffee, and non-cooked foods like salad dressings and cold sauces.
Sweet & Juicy Fruits To Treat Yourself
Our final tip is one you’ll surely enjoy… satisfy your sweet-tooth cravings with the best that nature has to offer, in the form of fresh, seasonal fruit! Even though fruit contains natural sugar, it’s also packed with fiber and nutrients, and won’t cause your blood sugar to spike like it would if you ate a cookie or candy bar.
Fruits are also an excellent way to keep your body hydrated, with many of them being very high in water content. Some particularly hydrating options that also taste great in summer recipes include watermelon (92% water), strawberries (91% water), cantaloupe (90% water), peaches (89% water), grapefruit and oranges (88% water).
Plus, don’t think that fruit has to be confined to dessert recipes only… you can add fruit into your meals to give them an exciting, unique taste!
Some awesome seasonal fruits to add into your meal replacement smoothies and other meals include grapes, watermelon, strawberries, raspberries, pears, plums, mangos, melons, limes, figs, pitted cherries, apricots, and apples!
A Day Of Meals to Help You Get Slim & Fit…
Now that you know some of the best waist-reducing, health-promoting foods to include in your summer meals, we wanted to give you three recipes for a day of wellness and vitality!
Check out our options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, below, and then visit the 310 Nutrition Blog for more ideas to try every day, for your healthiest and tastiest summer!
Whether or not you wake up already craving dessert like we do, this will fulfill your taste buds, and give you a healthy jolt of energy for your day! It’s naturally-sweet and will remind you of a healthy ice cream treat, while fueling your body with body-toning protein, healthy fats, hydrating fruits, and tons of extra nutrition including green superfoods in 310 Vanilla Shake!
© Photo by The Girl On Bloor
Next, you’ll get everything you need in this salad for a super-powered midday meal that supports a healthy weight. With arugula, tomatoes, grilled chicken, sweet potatoes, onions, carrots and more, it offers big flavor while including some of the best ingredients for weight loss – that are both satisfying yet low in calories. Plus, there’s a homemade balsamic dressing (and homemade is always best!), which includes one of the key healthy fats, olive oil – to help hold you over until dinner!
© Photo by Eat Well 101
Finally, end your day right with this high-protein, vitamin-packed meal. If you previously thought something as simple as shrimp and asparagus could be boring, think again! The exciting spices in this dish really make it, and it’s extremely easy to whip up in just 20 minutes – all in one pan! Hurrah for the most minimal clean up ever!
Ready to start cleaning up your diet to feel your best this summer? You don’t have to do it alone! Join the 310 Nutrition Community on Facebook and get personalized advice from 310 nutritionists, plus connect with others on their journey to lasting wellness!