In this hot, hot weather, who wants to cook hot meals every evening?  It’s a great time of the year to prepare light, cold foods which can make it an easy time to eat healthy or even lose weight.

If your aim is to lose weight, remember you still need to exercise even though you may have cut back your energy (kilojoule) intake.  Why?  To maintain your muscle mass.  More muscle equals a higher metabolic rate!

Don’t forget to stay active!

Good hot weather exercise includes anything to do with water – swimming, canoeing, surfing, and walking or running on the beach.  Although I quite like to go to an air conditioned gym and work out and enjoy my outdoor activities without quite as much sweat.

Cut cooking time

And how can you cut your kitchen time?  By doing some bulk preparation or bulk cooking to increase your efficiency in the kitchen.  And by opting for simple over complicated meals and snacks.

Choose simple over complicated meals…

Wash and chop vegies and salad items, then store them in airtight containers for up to 3 days.

Bulk cook roast meats, fried tofu or vegetable patties which can be portioned (great for portion control!) out for lunches or dinners with your ready cut vegies and salads.  Or check out my list of simple and easy to pre-prepare meal and snack ideas below:

Breakfast

  • Cool fruit smoothies
  • Fruit salad with Greek yoghurt and nuts
  • Bircher muesli

Lunch

  • Salad bowls with cold meat, cheese or nuts and seeds – for variety include 3-5 vegie ingredients in your salads, including a leafy green
  • Wrap the salad – take the wrap separately and wrap just before eating so it is less likely to go soggy
  • Cold pumpkin or lentil soup – yes cold soup tastes great!
How much should I be eating serves food groups

Dinner (not cold but quick and easy to prepare)

  • Pan fried fish and salad
  • Roast vegetables in a warm salad topped with nuts
  • Marinated tofu stir fry and rice

Dessert

Fruity yoghurt

Snacks

  • Fresh fruit
  • A very small handful of nuts and seeds
  • Vegie sticks on their own or with hummus

Choose simple low energy dressings for salad, vegies and mains like:

  • Lemon or lime juice – you can add extra flavour by adding a teaspoon of mustard, herbs or relish and mixing well
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Commercial low joule salad dressings
  • Soy sauce – choose the low salt variety and use sparingly
  • Or even a fine drizzle of flavoured oil on its own or with lemon juice or plain apple or wine vinegar
flavoured oils and vinegar

Drink

Make sure you listen to your thirst, too.  Thirst can be confused with feeling hunger – so drink water first in this hot weather.  And go easy on high kilojoule alcohol and sugar drinks.

woman drinking water

So, to sum up:

This hot time of year is a great time to eat plenty of light meals.

  • It’s easy to pre-prepare ingredients or even bulk prepare meals to increase efficiency and decrease kitchen time.
  • Remember to keep drinking water – it’s a thirsty time.
  • Keep up the exercise – don’t forget your hat and sunscreen if you are outdoors.

Enjoy and keep your cool!


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Post byDale Cooke

I'm a nutritionist, dietitian and personal trainer with 29 years of experience helping people improve their health. I really like using a non-diet philosophy to achieving a healthy lifestyle. Can I help you improve your health?