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Health & Wellness

4 Foods To Avoid If You’re On A Summer Diet (+What To Eat Instead)

Written by Liz Brown

Is your summer diet in trouble? These are the worst foods you can eat and what you should eat instead if you want to stay on track!

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There is no better time to focus on healthier eating than over the summer. After spending the entire winter in full-blown hibernation mode, it’s time to get your act together. With summer here, you have places to go, people to see, and you gotta look good when you do it, right? But one of the biggest problems people face when choosing to take on a summer diet is the many temptations that go along with it. BBQ’s, parties, happy hours… there is always something ready to distract you from your summer diet.

So, if the big question you’re asking yourself is how to lose weight over the summer and avoid temptation, there are some summer diet foods and a simple plan to follow to help ease your cravings and help you achieve your goals.

healthy food swapsHow To Lose Weight Over The Summer

Losing weight over the summer is definitely easier said than done. But with some guidance, a clear plan, and some willpower it is possible to see results. During the summer months, when your social calendar is probably at an all-time high, being able to combat the temptations is key. The best way to avoid temptation at a party, for example, is to give yourself permission to eat certain foods and to not give yourself permission to others. So, these are the best and worst food to eat at parties, what to avoid, and what not to avoid.

The Worst Food To Eat At Parties

Barbecues and summer parties are infamous for having high-calorie foods, high sugar foods, and tons of foods that make it seem impossible to stick to a diet. These are the foods you should avoid when you’re at summer parties.

1. Side dishes

I know, I know…  don’t hate me! But oftentimes side dishes cause the worst damage to your diet because it’s very easy to lose track of how many carbs, fats, and proteins you’re eating. You’re better off avoiding side dishes all together, but if you must, it’s best to choose a side dish that is only ONE ingredient. So this means, avoid potato salad, macaroni salad, cornbread, coleslaw, beans, creamy fruit salads, bread/biscuits/fries and anything else related.

2. Desserts

Yup, I said it. Sugar is detrimental to a diet and desserts are full of them! Added sugar spikes your insulin levels and crashes fast, hurting your metabolism. Some healthier options for dessert include dark chocolate covered strawberries/cherries/blueberries/bananas.

3. Alcohol

Did you know that alcohol is 7 calories per gram? A standard alcoholic drink contains roughly 14g of alcohol which comes out to a whopping 98 empty calories just from alcohol! This doesn’t even include the number of calories that come from the carbs and sugar either! Alcohol provides no nutritional value whatsoever so drinking it only adds to the problem. Try this 5-ingredient skinny margarita recipe instead!

4. Sweetened beverages

Soda, juice, punch, or any other beverage that has added sugar in it should be avoided at all costs. Like alcohol, high-sugar beverages add a ton of extra calories without actually providing any nutritional value. Sugary beverages are considered “calorie dense” which means they are high in calories but low in nutrients. In times like this, it’s best to sip on SkinnyFit Detox instead. SkinnyFit Detox has 13 different superfoods that provide an explosion of flavor! The subtle hint of peaches is a perfect refreshment for summer!

The Best Food To Eat At Parties

Before I go any further it’s important to remember that you have the power to resist temptation when it presents itself– it might be hard, but you can do it! Give yourself permission to eat “diet-approved foods” but also make it known that if it’snot on your list, you must avoid it at all costs. Make this deal with yourself and stick to it.

1. Barbecue meat

Barbecue is definitely a controversial “diet approved food” but for the most part, barbecue meat is a great option for someone looking to lose weight. BBQ meat is full of protein which can help you feel fuller for longer, it increases muscle mass and decreases body fat, it stabilizes your blood sugar, and boosts brain function and mood! However, there are a few conditions when eating barbecue meat at a party. It’s best to avoid anything cooked with sauce. A lot of barbecue sauces and marinades have added sugar that can hurt your progress. If possible, request your BBQ to be “sauce-free”. A lot of parties will typically serve a variety of BBQ meat: hot dogs, hamburgers, ribs, chicken, etc. If possible, try and select a leaner cut of meat. Chicken over ribs, and a hamburger over a hot dog (oh, and ditch the buns!)

2. Barbecue vegetables

If there is one thing I love about BBQs it’s the assortment of vegetables that usually come along with it! These are all-you-can-eat foods under the condition they are grilled plain, or lightly coated in extra virgin olive oil. For corn on the cob and other veggies, skip the butter, and avoid veggies that are coated in sauces or cheese.

3. Fresh fruit

Fresh fruit is almost an essential at parties over the summer these days and definitely, diet approved. Watermelon and berries are full of vitamins and antioxidants that help fight off free radicals that can build up with high sun exposure.

4. Salads

A salad is a great opportunity to fill up on nutrients to help fight off cravings before the dessert tray comes out! Most summer salads are power packed with fresh fruits, veggies, and nuts and seeds. Salads that contain these types of toppings are heart healthy and combat cravings! A quick tip for salads: read the label of the salad dressings and get your dressing on the side! If the host supplies a variety of dressing, opt for a balsamic or olive oil based dressing– these are typically fewer calories. As much as I would love to say that all salads are created equal, unfortunately, there are some we must avoid… like potato salad, macaroni salad, and creamy fruit salads. And when I say creamy fruit salad… I’m talking about that weird dish your grandma always brings to a potluck that no one ever eats. (Sorry Grandma!)

Woman eating a watermelon and smiling with it

Have A Summer Diet Plan!

Additionally, it’s important to be prepared before you go anywhere. Eating a balanced meal high in protein, whole-grains, vegetables, and a few fats before you head to a social gathering will help eliminate any temptation to eat anything at the party. But have you ever gone to a party (not hungry at all) and the second you see all the food you suddenly have an uncontrollable urge to eat everything in sight? Yeah, me too… But to combat cravings like this, you’ll simply need SkinnyFit Snack Attack and SkinnyFit Detox. Snack Attack is designed to help fight off cravings, suppress your appetite, and burn fat where it counts. Oftentimes, our diets are higher in sodium during parties and SkinnyFit Detox is the perfect compliment because it boosts metabolism, fights bloating, and helps reduce unwanted water weight!

About The Author

Liz Brown

Fitness & Nutrition Expert (CPT., FNS.)

Liz is a health & wellness expert, writer, and editor with over a decade of experience in the fitness & nutrition industry. She emphasizes research and simplifies complex topics to help make healthy living simple and sustainable. When she isn't researching and writing, she's sharing delicious recipes, easy DIYs, and home decor tips on her blog and social media.

More from Liz, visit: Personal Blog, TikTok, Instagram


  • NASM Certified Personal Trainer(since 2012)
  • NASM Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist (since 2014)
  • Credentialed Coach Practitioner, Coach Training Academy
  • B.A. Liberal Studies (Health & Nutrition Sciences)
  • A.A. Liberal Arts (STEM)

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