During the long winter months its easy to fall into bad habits and comfort foods become the norm. Perhaps you dont exercise so much in the cold winter months. So if you have emerged from hibernation feeling a little heavier, now is the time to spring clean your diet.
Spring cleaning your diet is simple - its about going back to basics with whole, minimally processed foods that will get you ready for spring. Freshen up your diet with these 5 easy changes:
Cut out sugar
Cut out all food with added sweeteners. Too much sugar has been linked to an increase in heart disease and diabetes. Natural sugars in diary, vegetables, and fresh fruit dont count as added sugars. But sweeteners, dextrose and other added sugars in yoghurt, cereals, granola bars and even pasta sauces certainly do. Scan ingredients on packaged foods and choose those with little if any added sweeteners.
After a winter full of stews and roasted veg you may be craving fresh tasting raw foods. Research has shown that cooking increases the amount of calories your body absorbs from food. That means that a servingof raw carrots may contain fewer calories than the same weight of roasted carrots. Try to snack on raw food. Top your chicken or fish with a raw vegetable salsa.. Replace starchy tortillas with lettuce leaves. Snack on raw nuts and carrots. Have yoghurt with berries for breakfast.
Choose colourful fruit and vegetables to eat. These type of foods are full of antioxidants which help fight disease. Include 3 or more colours in each meal . Scrambled egg with spinach and red pepper. Strawberries and apricots with a green salad.
You may not drink so much water over the winter months as its just not appealing. But with the warm weather approaching, its time to take hydration seriously again. Dehydration can impact your metabolism and leave you sluggish. Try and drink 3 litres of water a day plus extra fluid during and after exercise. Replace sugary coffees and fizzy drinks with green or herbal tea or iced tea. Load up on water-rich vegetables such as lettuce, celery and fruits.
Eating in restaurants not only is expensive but is not good for your waistline. By cooking yourself you can reduce many caloires, improve portion control and pack meals and snacks with nutritional whole foods.
Every week I plan what I am eating and do 1 big supermarket shop a week. Boring I know but creating my weekly meal plan makes me less inclined to eat out or dial for a take away. Try new recipes and get excited about cooking. I find it very therapeutic! Check out my website on the blog page for great recipes I have used. I add a new recipe every week.
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