Spring is in full swing, which only means one thing – summer is just around the corner. For many people, this signals that vacations, beach and pool parties, and road trips are near, while for others, this means spring-cleaning their entire homes. There are also people who worry about their health and weight, and who want to look good in swimsuits and summer clothes. If you’re hoping to get in shape and lose some weight before the summer, now is the time to start making changes in your diet. We give you a list of ten ways you can spring-clean your eating habits and be happy with your body come summer.
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Forget about sugary sodas
Most of us like drinking sodas when we’re out with friends or at the office (seeing as drinking alcohol in the workplace is frowned upon). On the other hand, as delicious as sodas are and easy to pick up when you need something to drink, they are actually bad for your health. They are packed with additives and have a lot of sugar in them, which might make them delicious, but it will also make you put on more weight. Instead of drinking sodas, stick to water or even better – try making your own flavored water instead. Add lemons, oranges, cucumbers, strawberries, and mint, and turn plain water into an elixir of health.
Swap coffee for tea
Most of us can’t imagine starting our day without having a cup of coffee. As handy as this habit is, you should also try to spring-clean your coffee drinking habits too. This means that you shouldn’t add cream, sugar, and syrup to your morning cup of jolly, but rather try to drink it black or with plain milk. You could also try swapping your cup of coffee for a cup of green tea instead. Not only will green tea boost your metabolism, but it will also give you energy for the day, seeing as green tea is rich in caffeine as much as coffee is.
Prepare your own meals
Cutting down on processed foods is imperative if you’re hoping to stay healthy and get in shape for the summer, but it’s often easier said than done. By far the simplest way to cut down on such foods is to start preparing your meals every day and pack your lunch when you go to work. If, however, you don’t have time to cook every day, you could always cook larger meals on weekends and keep it in the fridge so you have ready-made meals for the week. Lean meats, fresh salads, and dressings of your own making are healthier than store-bought ones, and you will soon get used to preparing your own meals.
Get a diet plan
Speaking of preparing meals, if you really want to make big changes to your eating habits, you should try eating different kinds of food as well. This means less junk food and more whole foods, and the best way to ensure you’re getting enough nutrients and vitamins that your body needs is to try to find a good meal plan. There are many mean delivery companies that can create great weight loss meal plans just for you to follow if you’re hoping to get your weight in check for the summer, and you’ll get the best results if you change your diet and start working out.
Drink more water
We can’t stress enough just how important it is that you drink enough water during the day. Even though people know they should, it’s also easy to forget to sip water throughout the day. When you dehydrate, your skin gets dry as do your mouth, and you get headaches. If you dehydrate often, it can cause problems with your bladder and kidneys too. Always try to be properly hydrated as it will also boost your immune system as well as your metabolism. Drinking water will make your skin healthier and improve your digestion too. Make it a habit to drink a glass of water as soon as you wake up, drink one before every meal, and one just before you go to bed.
Choose healthy treats
Every now and then we feel the need to grab a snack: either we are hungry, bored, or need more energy to get through the day. If you can’t imagine living without your favorite snacks, you could always try swapping unhealthy for some healthy ones. Instead of chips and candy bars, you could try baking your own chips in the oven and eating fresh fruit dipped in raw honey. Having bowls with fresh walnuts, hazelnuts, and almonds lying around will help when you’re trying to ‘make it’ until dinner, and if you really crave chocolate, try eating dark chocolate that has high percentage of cocoa.
Drink more smoothies
Speaking of healthy treats, smoothies are a wonderful source of proteins, vitamins, and nutrients, and they can be as delicious and they are healthy. You can have smoothies in the morning when you’re running late and don’t have time for breakfast, or you can drink one after you’ve finished a workout. If you like them to be thick, simply add more fruits, but if you like them to be more juice-like, just add more water, coconut water, or milk to the mix.
Switch to whole grains
Whole-wheat bread and brown rice have more fiber and nutrients than white bread and white rice. There are also tons of other tasty whole grains, such as faro, quinoa, and buckwheat that will give you the fiber your body needs. Try our Roasted Vegetable Quinoa Buddha Bowl, our Whole-Wheat Pita Pizza, or our Herb Barley Salad to get your whole grain fix.
Eat more veggies
Vegetables are great for your metabolism, and the best thing is that they’re rich in protein and fibers. Make it a habit to eat at least one serving of fresh vegetables with lunch or dinner (or both, preferably). They will keep you feeling full for a long time and they aren’t high in calories. You can also make pizza with cauliflower crust and veggie roast if you’re craving something a bit more substantial. Vegetable soups are also great because they boost your immune system as well as help with digestion.
Warm weather means that we’ll be drinking more cold drinks and eating more ice-cream, which gives you a great opportunity to incorporate more fresh and clean ingredients into your diet. Drink your lemonade without sugar, and if you need to sweeten it, use honey instead. You could also try making your own popsicles instead of eating gallons of ice-cream – they’re incredibly easy to make and you can improvise with ingredients and use coconut water, sprite, fresh fruit, and even gummy bears.
Spring is the perfect time for making big changes in life because it’s the turn of the seasons. We look forward to warmer, longer days and we wish to leave cold and dark winter behind. Just like we carefully clean our homes each spring, we could also take time to clean up our diets and adopt healthier eating habits too. Spring-cleaning your eating habits doesn’t have to be hard if you plan things out and go slowly. Feel free to try out different things, but don’t push yourself too hard. After all, you don’t want to crash-diet your way into sickness, do you?