Summer is the perfect time to focus on weight loss -- not just because it's bathing-suit season, but because there are so many fresh fruits and vegetables readily available.
We've rounded up recipes featuring seasonal, low-fat, and low-calorie produce. They're perfect for anyone looking to slim down or tone up for the summer -- or for anyone who just wants to eat a little healthier.
Refuel at midday with a fiber-filled meal to keep you satisfied through the afternoon.
Slicing open a melon and scooping out its fragrant flesh is one of summer's great pleasures -- and the fruit's juicy sweetness can be a tasty substitute for sugary drinks and desserts.
This unique take on a summer soup combines watermelon with zesty, low-calorie vegetables. Serve it before your main course to prevent overeating at dinner.
Technically, corn kernels are not vegetables but grains. And like other whole grains, corn is digested more gradually than refined grains -- leaving you feeling full longer, for fewer calories.
This recipe highlights the natural sweetness of summer corn at its peak -- and pairs it with quinoa, a protein-rich alternative to rice.
This lycopene-rich fruit is at its ripest toward the end of the summer. Not only are tomatoes low in calories, but their powerful antioxidants can help prevent cancer and heart disease.
Serve this chilly tomato treat, made with just a pinch of sugar, alongside a cold soup or gazpacho.
Grapefruit has a compound called naringenin, which studies have shown can make our insulin more effective and help prevent weight gain. The citrus fruit makes a pleasant addition to summer salads.
No melted-butter baths here: Instead, succulent sweet lobster is tossed with Ruby Red grapefruit dressing, a pleasingly tart counterpoint with a hint of mint.
If summer had a flavor, it would probably be the same taste as biting into a ripe berry.
The mellowed acidity of aged balsamic vinegar pairs perfectly with the sugary sweetness of strawberries in this festive frozen treat. Serve it as an alternative to high-calorie alcoholic beverages.
Zucchini, one variety of summer squash, adds a hearty crunch to salads and side dishes at only about 8 calories per half cup.
This simple crustless pie is topped by tomato slices and low-fat feta cheese, a lean choice. If yellow zucchini are unavailable, use all green zucchini.
Raw veggies like carrots and bell peppers contain soluble fiber, which can help you feel fuller faster -- and they're the perfect satisfying snack for only about 50 calories a cup.
A great dish to bring to a party, this summer salad is simple to make and stunning to look at.
Avocados contain healthy fats that help make our cells more insulin-sensitive -- but there's one note of caution: For optimal weight loss, avoid combining high-fat foods with simple carbs like white bread, baked potatoes, or sugar.
Instead, pair avocado with a high-fiber, multigrain bread, such as the whole-wheat pita used in this recipe.
A healthy hors d'oeuvre can keep you from overeating during a richer main course. Add one to your plate at your next party -- or make a full meal by sampling several small appetizers and skipping the entree completely.
If your experience with calamari is limited to the deep-fried or boiled preparations, this grilled version, stuffed with tomatoes, capers, and frisee, will be a revelation.
Grilling is part of summer -- but opting for fish, veggies, and leaner cuts of meat or poultry can reduce your saturated fat intake.
The ingredients for this farm-stand salad, including low-fat grilled turkey sausage and buttermilk dressing, can be spread out on a table for guests to assemble themselves. Skip the side of sourdough bread if you're watching your weight.
A sweet treat after dinner doesn't have to be full of processed sugar and fat. Summer is the perfect time to create delicious desserts starring seasonal fruit.
Part-skim ricotta stands in for ice cream in this peach and apricot dish, while the fruit is flavored with brown sugar, vanilla, and thyme.
With so many seasonal ingredients available in the spring and summer months, a great meal is as simple as stopping by the market and adding a few kitchen staples.
Asparagus, a cooling vegetable, can turn down your inner heat. Here, it's paired with crab for a light, summery salad.
The most important rule of summer cooking? Keep it simple. Let the farm-fresh flavors speak for themselves with light flavoring and minimal preparation.
Spanish for "little tomatoes," tomatillos are most delicious in their green state. Here, they make a delicious salsa for grilled chicken breasts.