Finally, the sun is out, temperatures are higher and it’s high time you started spring cleaning. But, good spring cleaning doesn’t only involve your home, garage and work desk! You can also study the way you eat and improve your diet, ditching harmful foods and replacing them with nutritious and beneficial ingredients. A change of seasons is the perfect time to clean out your diet and improve your eating habits. Get a fresh start to the year with these simple and easy tips.
Eliminate the worst foods
The best thing you can do for yourself is to eliminate all processed foods, sugary stuff and alcohol. However, with the changes this big, you will go back to your old eating habits very quickly. Instead, start small by ditching only three foods that you know are ruining your diet. For instance, you can give up chips, sugary cereals and Starbucks coffee. Once you’ve chosen your three main enemies, throw away the stocks that you had in your pantry and don’t buy these at the grocery store anymore.
Add more fruits and veggies
Since you eliminated three processed foods, you have space to replace them with something healthy—fruit and veggies. When browsing aisles at the grocery store, try to pick out a fruit or veggie that you never tried before or something you don’t usually eat, just to spice things up in a healthy way.
Focus on healthy fats
Some high-fat foods like nuts, avocados, eggs, fatty fish, olive oil, and dark chocolate are very good for the human body (when eaten in moderation). Eating healthy fats will keep you full and energized and help curb your cravings. So now and then, feel free to add cream to your black coffee or guac to your breakfast sandwich.
Add probiotics to your diet
Feeding your microbiome is very important and almost no one does it. Next time you go shopping, grab some foods that keep your tummy healthy and full of good bacteria. Foods like coconut yogurt, almond cheese, kimchi and sauerkraut are all full of probiotics. Can’t eat those? It’s very easy to find nutritional supplements that contain probiotics and other beneficial ingredients. These are great for maintaining healthy probiotic levels and keeping you fueled with vitamins and minerals.
Read the labels
One great way to reduce your calorie intake is to take a look at the food label. Examine the food’s fat, sugar and sodium content to stay on track with your diet. When you see how much each of these your food contains, you will quickly turn to a healthier option.
Every living organism needs water to function properly, but that’s not all. Water also keeps you feeling full and energized, which is crucial for your diet. If you don’t like plain water, you can spice it up with a spritz of orange, lemon or lime. Green tea is also a good hydration choice. While you probably like your coffee more, try swapping a cup a day for tea to further boost your immunity and fight cravings.
Have a meatless day
Going vegetarian or vegan is not for everyone, but everyone can have one meatless day. This easy change in your diet will lower your risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes, but also help the environment. Plus, according to research, people eating a plant-based diet usually weigh less than carnivores.
Mindful eating is a great way to enjoy food more while consuming fewer calories. Time your time to chew and note down all the different tastes, aromas and textures in food. You’ll feel full quicker and manage your weight loss. Set an alarm clock for 20 minutes when you eat and try not to touch your phone or watch TV—just enjoy the food experience.
Welcome springtime the right way. If you clean out your diet in spring, the rest of the year will be so much better for you and your family. And don’t try to make any drastic changes—these usually fail—a bunch of small steps will take you even further when it comes to diet.