With the change of the season comes warmer weather, new foods, and of course diet fads and trends. Don’t fall for any diet that promises quick and easy weight loss to get ready for bathing suit season! The severe restrictions and temporary weight loss just isn’t worth it when you can learn how to make sustainable changes to diet and lifestyle that will last in the long term. Here are five simple ways to clean up your diet and get on the right path to looking and feeling your best:
- Make small changes to your diet.
Place an emphasis on making small shifts to your diet rather than radical changes which are often difficult to stick with. Think of a food habit you’d like to change and slowly ease into a new ritual by making a small shift.
- Swap multigrain for whole grains products.
The term “multigrain” is defined by a food containing a blend of two or more grains and often can contain grains from refined sources. These grains can include oats, barley, cornmeal, wheat, millet, flax and others. This should not be confused with whole wheat which is a grain of any cereal and pseudocereal that contains the endosperm, germ, and bran which retains all the important nutrients of all parts of the grain.
- Go green!
Many green vegetables like kale, spinach, and broccoli are some of the healthiest choices. A favorite springtime produce is asparagus which is full of fiber, folate, vitamin K, and iron. Add asparagus to your spring dinner routine with this recipe for Garlic-Parmesan Asparagus.
- Find hidden sugars in your favorite foods.
You may be aware that soda and candy are full of added sugar but you may not pay attention to the hidden sugar in your favorite salad dressings, sauces, or whole grain cereals. Although it would be easier to reduce sugar intake if the label listed it plainly as “sugar” but many foods list it on food labels under names like sucrose, corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, agave nectar, honey, dextrose, and evaporated cane juice.
- Eat fat.
Try to include healthy fats in your diet like olive oil, nuts, and avocado. These fats can help you feel full and stay full for longer periods of time, therefore reducing you chance of grabbing those mid-afternoon snacks. Nuts are an excellent snack because they contain heart-healthy unsaturated fats, protein, and fiber. Just be mindful on the portion size, fat contains more calories than carbohydrate and protein so stick to one serving at a time!
Remember- one day at a time, one meal at a time. You got this!