Summer brings many of the things we love: long days, pleasant evenings, beach weather, backyard barbecues, and good food. As people’s thoughts turn to spending more time outdoors, low-carb foods become the grub of choice for the season.
Here’s a look at why low-carb food is more popular during the summer, and how to get your low-carb diet started.
Low carbs in the hot summer
As temperatures rise, people are drawn to foods that contain lower carbohydrates. Low-carb foods encourage your body to use naturally stored fats as its main energy source, instead of unhealthier foods that add levels of fat. With the body consuming these stores of fat, people on low-carb diets often see their weight drop fairly quickly.
So, why is this so important during the summer? Given that people tend to spend more time outdoors, wear less clothing, and want to look good for the pool or the beach, low-carb foods are a popular (if short-term) way to slim down without the drudgery of exercise. Once we begin to hide our bodies under layers of clothing as the weather gets cold again, peer pressure to look good recedes, and low-carb foods go on the “good idea, try later” shelf.
This may not even be a conscious decision. Even if people don’t start the summer intending to eat only low-carb food to fit into a bikini or look sharp without a shirt, they unconsciously choose food options they know (or believe) to be healthier because of the vague notion that it’s good for them. They may see other people with perfect summer bodies, and unwittingly alter their diet to reach for their ideal.
So when people go out to eat during the summer, they tend to order lighter, fresh menu dishes. Perhaps, too, as the days get hotter, people swerve away from hearty meals, and more toward the simple and healthier offerings of low-carb foods.
Getting your low-carb diet started
Whether you’re looking to drop some weight and hit the beach, or just want to cool down, here are some options to help you get going on your low-carb diet. Vegetables like sprouts, celery, tomatoes, and eggplants are a start. Throw in some fruits like watermelons, raspberries, and cherries, and meats like ribs, grilled chicken, or shrimp.
You don’t have to scrimp on desserts, either. Strawberry cheesecake, chocolate peanut butter fudge, pumpkin pie, even a (low-carb) chocolate mousse can help you round off a delicious meal without fear of showing a few extra pounds in your swimsuit.