4 Easy Things You Can Do To Spring Clean Your Diet And Get Healthy For Summer
It has been a long winter and now that springtime is eventually here, I am feeling a bit more motivated to tackle that laundry list of springtime clean to-dos Ive been avoiding.
This year, instead of just going through my closet to weed out clothes I never wear anymore( or those shirts with tags still on them that Ive sworn Id wear for the past five years) I am focusing my attempts on my kitchen.
And I am not talking about merely cleaning the kitchen. In fact I would like to completely avoid ever cleaning the oven or microwave again, if possible.
Instead, I am talking about spring-cleaning my diet.
With the cold weather out of the way, I no longer have an excuse to cuddle up with my favorite comfort foods or sip on a few extra glasses of wine while watching the snowfall. Summer is right around the corner and I want to look and feel my best, and I am sure you do too.
To spring clean your diet, you dont have to give up everything you love. The opposite, actually. If “youre just trying to” make too many overwhelming changes, you wont stick with them.
Its like the time I donated the majority of my shoe collect merely to find myself back at the mall the next weekend hoarding as many pairs of heels I could find. Moderation is key.
Cleaning up your diet can often be more about what you need to to your snacks than what you need to avoid.
These four simple tips will help you to overhaul your nutrition easily so that you can is so great, feel great, and stick with the changes you made.
1. Ditch the foods with food ingredients list longer than your age.
Yes, transitioning away from processed food and feeing only whole food is a great strategy. But lets be honest, who has time to eat only whole food 100% of the time? Not me.
Processed foods are part of our daily lives and they dont have to be unhealthy. Just because a food is processed doesnt mean it isnt nutritious.
However, processed foods with a laundry list of ingredients including added sugars, artificial ingredients and preservatives may not be the best choice.
So look for processed foods with around ten ingredients or less to help cut down on some of those not-so-healthy elements.
Good examples of minimally-processed or non-processed foods include: baked chips containing simply potatoes, oil, and salt; peanut butter built with simply peanuts and a clue of salt; cottage cheese with merely milk, cream, and salt; breads containing only whole grain flours, yeast, and salt and even pre-washed/ pre-cut vegetables such as baby carrots or celery.
2. Focus on the nutrients , not the calories.
It can be seducing to focus solely on the calorie content of a food when you are examining the label, but calories arent always what they seemto be: despite what you may have heard, all calories are not created equal.
A low-calorie food packed full of refined carbs and simple sugars not only will leave you hungry, it also will provide you with little to no nutrition.
Instead, a food rich in plant-based fats like nuts and seeds may seem high in calories, but the healthy fats and lean protein it offer will maintain you satisfied for hours.
As seducing as it may be, avoid utilizing calories as your sole gauge as to whether or not you should eat something, and look at the nutrients the food provides instead.
3. Fill up on fiber.
If I could only recommend one dietary change, packing more fiber into your day, would be it. Yes, I am a self-proclaimed fiber fanatic, but for a very good reason.
A diet rich in fiber doesnt just regulate the digestive system. It helps to promote fullness, cuts down on hunger and cravings, promotes a healthy body weight and even lowers future cancer danger. On top of that, diets rich in fiber have even been shown to add years to your life.
Although you really cant have too much fiber, aiming for a minimum of 25 to 35 grams per day is a good place to start.
Just keep in mind, as you increase your fiber intake, to do it gradually. Feeing more fiber means youll likely fart more at first, TBH.
Make sure you increase the amount of water you drink as well. Your intestines will thank you.
4. Lose the added sugars.
This is really a no-brainer. Im sure you know that too much sugar in your diet isnt ideal for health.
But did you know the of the negative impact added sugars can have?
Sure, they provide information sources of empty calories that can lead to weight gain( especially that dreaded belly fat ), but they can impact everything from energy levels to memory and concentration, too.
One study found that high school students who drink simply one soda per day had poorer performances on academic tests. Other research has shown added sugars can lower energy and cause lapsings in concentration, which is not exactly something you want to happen when you are trying to secure that promotion at work.
Cut the sugar by sweetening your diet naturally by snacking on whole fruits, using flavourings like cinnamon in coffee instead of sugar, or adding a splash of 100% fruit juice to seltzer, over drinking a can of soda.
The more added sugars you cut out, the better you are able to feel.
And who doesnt want to feel and is so great, this summer?