And while you may feel left out having to turn down the ice cream cones or the potato chips, hot-weather foods are actually the perfect complement to low-carb eating.
In winter we naturally turn to denser, heavier meals, but in summer it’s easy to lighten up and stay satisfied with fresh, healthy foods.
So as you hit the lake, pool, or your neighbor’s backyard for a good time, take these low-carb eating tips with you:
1. Grill up.
Lean proteins are delicious when you throw them on the grill, so have at it with chicken, fish, or even tofu. Vegetables are also grill-friendly, adding a delicious smoky flavor to things like asparagus, zucchini, mushrooms, or cauliflower.
The thing to watch out for when grilling, however, is carb or sugar-heavy BBQ sauces. Use a sugar-free marinade, sauce, or homemade spice rub.
For burgers, try using a lettuce leaf instead of a bun, or a low-carb tortilla to wrap around a hot dog.
2. Get creative with sides.
Sliced veggies, like cucumber or jicama, and dips are a perfect alternative to carb-heavy sides like potato salad. Try a homemade guacamole or a roasted pepper dip. Other sides include deviled eggs, low-carb cole slaw, or just a simple grilled vegetable.
3. Know your summer fruits.
Lucky for you, many summer fruits are naturally lower in carbohydrates. Raspberries, blackberries, blueberries and strawberries are good options, which pair perfectly with a spritz of lemon or lime juice and a sprinkle of stevia or Splenda for dessert. Try this recipe for Balsamic Strawberries and Mint.
4. Drink wisely
While we don’t recommend alcohol on the GreenLite plan, we know that it’s tempting to cool down with a beverage. So if you do drink, try to avoid beer and wine, instead opting for clear distilled spirits with soda water or a sugar-free mixer. Watch out for the punch bowl or mixed drinks you haven’t made yourself – they’re probably high in both carbohydrates and sugar.
If you want something fizzy to sip on that isn’t alcoholic, try kombucha or flavored soda water over ice.
Also, remember to hydrate! This will help with weight loss and hunger cravings during a time when your body is naturally trying to shed extra weight and lighten up for the summer heat.
5. Snack smart
If you want to stay away from the chip bowl, make sure there are other options available to you. Good snack foods include olives, string cheese, celery sticks, or pepper slices. Eat a meal before you go to prevent mindless munching, and also have a Quest bar or other protein-rich snack on hand in case you find yourself with few options.