Summer is just around the corner, and you’re not exactly ready to put on those shorts or swimsuit quite yet. No need to try a wacky diet or starve yourself for that beach body. The secret to shedding off those extra winter pounds is to choose healthy foods, and it’s easier than you think! While heavy, high-calorie foods seem more appealing in the colder weather, people are more drawn to light, refreshing foods in the hot summer months.

Experts say that the single, easiest way to trim calories from your summer diet is to load up on nature’s bounty. Besides being low in calories, fruits and vegetables are loaded with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber. Produce is at its best in the summer, so you can actually enjoy your foods while trimming your waistline! And when it comes to fresh fruits and vegetables, you can forget about portion control! It’s hard to pack on the pounds when these foods are so nutritious.

Check out some of the best summer foods that can help with weight loss!

Chilled Soups

Who wants a hot bowl of soup when it’s hot outside? Not only will cold soups like gazpacho or cucumber-dill help keep you cool, they also contain lots of vegetables, are low-calorie and are a great way to start a meal! According to Susan Moores, RD, “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.”

Watermelon

Ah, watermelon—the epitome of summer fruit. Half of the watermelon comes from water, so not only will it quench your thirst, it will keep you hydrated, too! Plus, it’s a great low-calorie dessert alternative when you’re craving something sweet.

Grilled Vegetables

Try keeping your refrigerator stocked with onions, bell peppers, zucchini, carrots, eggplant and asparagus. You can make a variety of delicious dishes like grilled vegetable pitas, grilled vegetable and goat cheese salads and grilled vegetable, ricotta and fresh herb pasta. It’s easy to see that grilled vegetables are a must-have.

Low- and No-Calorie Beverages

It’s most likely that you’ll be consuming more smoothies, sweet teas, iced coffees and sodas to help keep you cool from the hot temperatures. But the calories add up and usually don’t make an impact on your hunger. If water seems too boring, try infusing a pitcher of water with sliced fruits or vegetables, concoct a juice spritzer (mix 1 ½ ounces of your favorite juice with eight ounces of soda water) or stick to teas and sodas with low sugar and calorie content.

So as the summer months come closer, stop by your local Sparkle Market to pick up your fresh, healthy produce!

And check out 6 Best Summer Foods for Weight Loss for more pound-shedding food ideas!

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