Finding foods that promote weight loss can be difficult, especially when summer consists of backyard barbecues, outdoor festivals and fairs, and lots of time with family and friends. These surroundings can mean battling the urge to eat whatever and whenever you want when surrounded by all the temptations.
As an individual interested in losing weight, we highly encourage you to stick to a strict dietary list. However, our patients often feel at a loss when it comes to what healthy food options they have, especially when on a budget.
So we have compiled a list of summer foods that promote weight loss. Not only do these foods have tons of added nutritional benefits, but they are also perfect for summer weather. Since these foods are frequently on sale at the grocery store, pick up a few of these items and see how you can incorporate them into your diet.
1. Avocados can reduce blood pressure.
Avocados are a great source of healthy fats and potassium, reducing blood pressure and alleviating cramping. They have 2 grams of protein and 15 grams of healthy fats. Although avocados contain 9 grams of carbs, there are 7 grams of fiber, equaling 2 grams of net carbs.
2. Bell peppers lower cholesterol.
Bell peppers are low in calories, helps to reduce LDL (bad cholesterol) levels, controls diabetes, and eases inflammation as a result of the capsaicin found in them. These colorful sweet peppers improve the ability for iron to be absorbed into the gut, preventing anemia. Similarly, carotenoids, pigments found in plants, are abundant in bell peppers and are linked to improving eye health.
3. Berries improve blood sugar.
Berries are a healthy, low sugar-containing fruit option. They are rich in vitamins B and C, fiber, and antioxidants. Therefore, berries help improve blood sugar and insulin response in diabetic patients, lower cholesterol levels, improve your skin, and leave you feeling full due to the fiber content.
4. Cucumbers promote weight loss with low-caloric density.
Cucumbers are low-calorie vegetables made up of soluble fiber and about 95% water, making them an excellent weight-loss food. They are a great addition to meals to add in extra antioxidants and anti-inflammatory benefits.
5. Peas can suppress appetite.
These pod fruits have a high fiber and protein content, making them a great addition to any meal. Peas also increase certain hormones in the body that suppress appetite. Combined with the protein and fiber content, peas help you feel full longer, improve digestion, and fight chronic diseases.
6. Shrimp is high in protein.
Shrimp is a high protein, low-calorie food option that contains 75% of the daily value for B12 and 100% of the daily value for selenium, a mineral that improves thyroid function and minimizes premature aging. So enjoy shrimp raw or cook it up and add it to a meal.
7. Spinach is a great source of iron.
Spinach is a superfood and a great source of iron. It contains many minerals, vitamins, pigments, and phytonutrients that contribute to clearer skin, improved eyesight, regulated blood pressure, stronger muscles, and the prevention of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and hemophilia.
8. Tomatoes reduce risk of heart disease.
Tomatoes are a great source of vitamin C, potassium, folate, and vitamin K. They are also the primary dietary source of the antioxidant lycopene, which has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer. As a bariatric patient, you want to stick to raw tomatoes and avoid sugar-filled tomato products such as ketchup and tomato sauces.
9. Watermelon promotes weight loss.
Watermelon is a refreshing fruit made up of about 90% water and is packed with vitamin C and vitamin A. This fruit is low in calories yet high in antioxidants that improve heart health, fight cancers, relieve muscle soreness, and promote hydration for the skin.
10. Zucchini supports your immune system.
Similarly to cucumber, zucchini offers an ample supply of vitamins that support the immune system, aid in healthy digestion, reduce blood sugar levels, and promote weight loss. Zucchini has a high fiber content and a low-calorie density, making you feel full for longer periods of time.
Though you have these healthier alternatives, it is still important to follow portion control methods for these food options. In addition, it is important to adhere to your bariatric surgeon and dietitian's guidelines. Consult with your bariatric dietitian if you have had weight loss surgery in the past year to learn more about your post-operative bariatric diet. We hope you enjoy these summer foods that promote weight loss and if you want to see these ingredients turn into dishes, check out our bariatric recipe guide!