Spring Clean Your Diet!
Kate Ray, RD, CareOne Vice President of Food and Nutrition Services, shares 5 ways to clean up your diet and get healthy this spring.
It’s that time of year where we are spring cleaning our houses, so why not spring clean our diets while we’re at it? Here are some tips that will make you healthier and happier:
- Clean out your refrigerator and cupboards.
- Replace high sugar, high calorie foods with whole foods such as fruits and vegetables and increase the protein in your snacks and meals.
- Keep healthy snacks at eye level in the refrigerator.
- Cut up vegetables and fruits and keep in sealed containers or plastic snack bags.
- Unsalted walnuts and almonds are great options since they are high in protein and fiber. You can keep these out on the counter top for a handy snack. Just make sure to count out the serving size so you don’t overeat – aim for 100-150 calories per snack. Apple or pear slices with a tablespoon of natural peanut butter or almond butter will be filling and satisfy a sweet tooth. Plain Greek yogurt is also a healthy option that is high in protein and low in sugar. You can use this yogurt in smoothies and as a base for many healthy sauces and dressings in place of high fat condiments.
- Plan and prep meals in advance for the week. This will not only keep your diet on track, but your budget as well. You should eat three small meals per day with healthy snacks between each meal. This will keep you satisfied throughout the day so you do not overeat at mealtimes.
- Replace soda, diet soda, fruit juice and other sugary beverages with water. Try to cut back each week so you are not drinking anything but water within a month. You will notice the difference in how you feel, how you sleep and will start losing weight. You should drink 8-10 eight ounce glasses of water per day.
- Reduce the amount of bad fat in your diet.
- When eating out or at home, prepare foods with very little additional fat.
- Have dressings and sauces served on the side. This will reduce the amount of calories you consume if it’s not served directly on the food.
- Choose lean meats, poultry and fish for your meals that are no bigger than 2-3 ounces per serving.
- Get moving!!
- Exercise each day for at least 30 minutes.
- Find a friend to buddy up with for walking so you can offer support to each other.
- Make a goal to get in 10,000 steps a day. If this is too much for you at your current fitness level, work your way up to the goal over a course of six to eight weeks. A pedometer will keep you on track for how many steps you are walking per day.
Make one diet change at a time, you will have more success if you are not overwhelmed with the changes all at once. If you have a bad day where you do not eat well or exercise, don’t get discouraged – just start new the next day.